02

Blog

Toronto Trail Guidelines Should Have Saved Xavier Morgan

This may seem to be about a basic barrier on the side of a path but this fight is to ensure our children and all vulnerable road users have safe roads or paths to ride on.

The Martin Goodman Trail is one of the many multi-use trails within Toronto that offers all people the ability to enjoy bicycling without having to share the road with cars. To ensure the trails are safe, the City instituted a Steering Committee and Technical Advisory Committee to put together a comprehensive set of trail guidelines. The Toronto Multi-Use Trail Design Guidelines are consistent with City, Provincial, North American and International best practices.

Martin Goodman Trail Toronto

One of the guidelines pertains to the area where young Xavier was killed.

Guideline 6.4.1 “Trails Adjacent High Volume or High-Speed Arterial Roadways” addresses precisely what should have been done in the area where this unfortunate and tragic event took place. In fact, the photo used within the Guideline is that of the Martin Goodman Trail next to Lakeshore Road. Any road where the speed is 60 km or more or has four or more lanes is caught by this section. Lakeshore is not only a 60 km zone, it is six lanes and a major commuting artery into the City.

Unlike having the grass separation used in the Guideline photo above, the portion where Xavier was killed had a very small distance, approximately one-meter, between the path and the cars.

Bike Law Canada - Martin Goodman Trail Toronto

Part of the problem is that the grass or corridor separation is not attainable due the legion hall that lies next to the Trail. Therefore the Guideline states specifically, “Where an appropriate distance cannot be achieved, guide rails and a physical separation such as a fence or landscaping are recommended.” In this case, none of these exist in this portion of the Trail. The intent is obvious. Keep car drivers from entering the trail [rail] and keep cyclists from entering the road. Any safety design must be taken into account the frailties of the human condition including health related issues, inattention, or simple mistakes.

There has also been some recent discussion that the Martin Goodman Trail is not a place for children. The Trail Guidelines themselves state at 1.2, “All people are welcome on Toronto’s Multi-Use Trails regardless of ability.” Later in section 3 it states, “Providing trails that are inviting and safe for all users of all ages, skills and comfort levels should be the priority for designers.”

We fight this fight to ensure our children, and all vulnerable road users have safe roads or paths to ride on. “Providing trails that are inviting and safe for all users of all ages, skills and comfort levels should be the priority for designers.” Now, we must backup these priorities with a budget that ranks human lives over everything else. The time for action is now.

Credit: Featured photo – Bike Law Canada, 2nd photo – Toronto Multi-Use Trail Design Guidelines

Comments

Rachael Maney Nov 28, 2018

I asked my 7 year old son, Will, to draw me a picture of each of these things: life with cars; life with electric cars; life with autonomous cars; they all looked the same. But the fourth picture- life in a modern, forward thinking, and environmentally, economically, and socially responsible place- looked very different. Even […]

Read More
Matt Johnson Nov 06, 2018

We were somewhere around Denison on the edge of the corn fields when the Eurostyle Chamois Butter began to take hold. I remember saying something like “I feel a bit lightheaded, maybe we should stop at a watering station…” And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us, and the road was full of […]

Read More
Peter Wilborn Oct 02, 2018

October is a big month in the triathlon world, with the Kona Ironman World Championships on the 13th. So it is good news that Triathlete Magazine chose its October issue to focus on bicycle safety and advocacy. Bike Law Director (and our resident triathlete) Rachael Maney was featured and interviewed in the piece. She shared […]

Read More
Peter Wilborn Sep 28, 2018

Chicago has become one of the nation’s top cycling cities, but along with more has come an increase in dooring crashes. A Chicago news channel has covered the issue and interviewed attorney Brendan Kevenides, Bike Law’s legal resource in Illinois. Brendan explained the growing risk to cyclists and how the “Dutch Reach” can help.  The […]

Read More
Amy Benner Johnson Sep 21, 2018

Drivers are coming within less than 1.5 feet of cyclists on the road in Knoxville with alarming regularity. Drivers are coming within less than two feet of cyclists on the road in Knoxville with alarming regularity. It’s not your imagination. It’s not all in your head. Your combined senses of touch, sound, and sight all […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Sep 12, 2018

You may have already seen the video below. If you haven’t, please watch. On Tuesday, August 24th just before 7PM, Jeff McCord and approximately 20 other cyclists were stopped at the intersection of Karl Daly and Grants Mill Road in Irondale, Alabama, a town outside the city of Birmingham. As McCord waited for an ambulance […]

Read More
Rachael Maney Aug 30, 2018

In 2010, Richmond, California got lucky when Brooklyn born Najari Smith planted roots in the Bay Area city, quickly claiming a very important role in his new community. Having given more than 1,100 bikes to Richmond’s youth and community members in the last 6 years, Najari’s vision and mission to promote a bike-centric lifestyle has […]

Read More
Bruce Hagen Jul 17, 2018

On July 11, 2018, a very experienced rider and friend to many in the Rockdale County area, Albert “Ab” Roesel, was killed while out on a rural road doing a ride that he no doubt had done many times before.  Ab was 75 years old.   The police investigation concluded that Ab had been headed Southbound, […]

Read More
Brendan Kevenides Jun 04, 2018

At sea a boat under power must give way to a more vulnerable craft.  The law requires that a power driven vessel give way to a sailing vessel.  A sail boat must give way to a craft engaged in fishing. These simple rules are consistent with the maxim that with greater power comes greater responsibility. […]

Read More
Commuter Bike
Bruce Hagen May 29, 2018

Recently, my wife and I moved into a new home that’s closer to my office, which has allowed me to start commuting by bike.  I rode my bike to and from my office 4 consecutive days before my schedule forced me back into the car. My hope and plan is to commute by bike at […]

Read More
Pat Brown May 10, 2018

Strength, ambition, and courage are just a few words that come to mind when we think of Anthony Lue.  Growing up, Anthony enjoyed playing competitive sports such as baseball, volleyball, basketball and mountain biking, but his true passion was discovered on his high school track.    After winning gold for 100m hurdles at the provincial championships […]

Read More
Lauri Boxer-Macomber Apr 30, 2018

Following a horrific bicycle crash in 2016, Dr. Michael Rifkin has become a new type of bicycling advocate — one who is deeply committed to ending distracted driving. Read his op-ed on Making Distracted Driving in Maine Taboo here. Dr. Rifkin’s piece reminds us that we can be distracted by our phones and other electronic devices even […]

Read More
Load More