This week we learnt that Bike Share Toronto is expanding its bike sharing program. The very same week there were 18 reported collisions involving 20 pedestrians and cyclists, in a span of 24 hours.
And if anyone wanted to write this off as a Toronto only issue we then had this tragedy a little closer to home.
The executive summary on page 4 of York Region’s 2015 Annual Traffic Safety Report speaks to a commitment to road safety as it applies to cyclists:
On the next page we see how collisions involving cyclists have increased by 18 per cent over the last three years:
Considering how much bluster and hot air is being made to “Activate” the entire town, with the intent to see an uptick in people riding bikes, exactly what is being done by the town to address the issue of safety?
Last month Mayor La-de-Dawe retweeted out a star piece focusing on promoting bikes, pedestrians and shopping on King Street:
In his tweet he says he has made a point that we need to think differently.
But has he?
Dawe’s failed motion to traffic calm Yonge Street with bump out patios and benches in very suspect locations doesn’t just contradict the Aurora Promenade Streetscape Plan, and Complete Streets Canada it is incompatible with road safety for cyclists.
Back in May when I was walking on the east side of Yonge just south of Wellington I had to quickly move out of the way of two cyclists that came up behind me on the sidewalk. After passing me they continued a couple stores and almost hit two other people:
And why were they riding the sidewalk narrowly missing pedestrians? Because they can’t navigate the street thanks to the f’n parked cars. Imagine how this would unfold when the sidewalks are turned into their own obstacle course.
Dawe’s thinking wasn’t different, it was absent. His motion was thankfully defeated in principle and referred to the 2017 budget given its $200,000 price tag.
The fact that our mayor wanted to run through his project citing the fact that Yonge Street is under jurisdiction of the town and not the Region is not evidence of “thinking different”, it is outright insulting and puts the town on a collision course with a myriad of demands on the same stretch already borne out in regional reports.
When Dawe’s P.O.S. motion resurfaces it needs to be run into the ground and the entire matter of Yonge Street traffic safety needs to shift gears over to the town’s traffic committee.