02

Blog

Tragic Biking Fatality in Toronto Highlights Need for Better Infrastructure

How many tragedies do we need in Toronto before we invest in keeping Vulnerable Road Users safe?

Wednesday evening, a 5-year-old boy fell into the roadway while riding on the Martin Goodman Trail and died after being struck by a car. The death of a young boy is tragic and incomprehensible for any parent. Based on the information found in the Toronto Police Service news release, the area of the crash raises some very concerning questions regarding the lack of infrastructure or barriers in this area to separate cars from pedestrians and cyclists.

For many of us who use the Martin Goodman Trail (MGT) daily, we know the area well. One should consider the following:

  1. The MGT was designed and meant to encourage biking, walking, jogging, and rollerblading.
  2. It is a major active transportation corridor for families and others to access and use the many lakeside parks that connect along the path.
  3. Lakeshore Road is a high volume, multi-lane commuter traffic area where cars are known to travel faster than posted speed limits.
  4. It is considered an alternate route from the Gardiner and in fact, signage encourages cars to use it as an alternate route.
  5. The ramps onto the East and Westbound Gardiner off of Jameson and Lakeshore Roads are closed during rush hour times, forcing traffic to remain and congest on Lakeshore, specifically in this area.

    Martin Goodman Trail

  6. In some areas, the MGT is separated from Lakeshore Road by medians, park areas, trees, separate bridges etc.
  7. The area in which the crash occurred, seen in the CP24 image below, is of concern. It is one of the few areas that Lakeshore Road and the MGT are not separated by anything.
    Toronto Youth Biking Death
  8. This area of the MGT is also an area where two MGT paths merge into one area, thus congesting active transport users.
  9. This area is also atop Budapest Hill which is a downhill grade alongside a busy multi-lane road.

Clearly, a barrier in this area would have prevented this tragedy from happening. The costs would be minimal and now more than ever, it is called for. This is a high-density pedestrian/cycling pathway placed directly next to a fast car commuting corridor with virtually nothing separated it than some light poles.

It is sad to say that unfortunately, it is too late for this young boy, but it is time for Toronto to consider the safety of those commuters, runners, children and families that use the MGT on a daily basis. This isn’t the first time and it won’t be the last. It is time to protect the many users of the MGT, it is time to do more for Toronto’s vulnerable road users.

Photo credit: Featured – CP24, Bike Path – WATERFRONToronto

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