Special Report: Cycling

Memorial Walk up Claremont to Commemorate Cyclist

A memorial walk travelled up Claremont Access to place a 'ghost bike' at the site where Jay Keddy was killed last night after being struck by a pickup truck.

By RTH Staff
Published December 03, 2015

At 12:30 PM today, a group of people gathered at the corner of Main Street East and Wellington Street South to proceed up the Claremont Access to the spot where a cyclist was killed last night after being struck by a pickup truck. The victim, 53-year-old Jay Keddy, was a Kindergarten teacher at Prince of Wales School.

Memorial walk up Claremont Access (Image Credit: Jason Leach)
Memorial walk up Claremont Access (Image Credit: Jason Leach)
Memorial walk up Claremont Access (Image Credit: Jason Leach)

The walk was organized by New Hope Community Bikes Co-Op and was supervised by several Hamilton Police officers, including a group of bicycle officers who walked their bikes next to the group, blocking vehicle traffic from the lane.

Traffic blocked on Wellington Street at Main (Image Credit: Sean Burak)
Traffic blocked on Wellington Street at Main (Image Credit: Sean Burak)

Police escorting the memorial walk participants (Image Credit: John Neary)
Police escorting the memorial walk participants (Image Credit: John Neary)

Walking up Claremont Access (Image Credit: Sean Burak)
Walking up Claremont Access (Image Credit: Sean Burak)

Passing under the Jolley Cut (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)
Passing under the Jolley Cut (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)

Participant Sean Burak wrote, "The absurd scale of this street is even mroe apparent when viewed on foot".

The New Hope organizers brought a white-painted "ghost bike" along with them, to be placed at the site of the collision in memory of the victim.

Ghost bike (Image Credit: John Neary)
Ghost bike (Image Credit: John Neary)

Andrew Hibma locking the ghost bike (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)
Andrew Hibma locking the ghost bike (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)

The ghost bike (Image Credit: John Neary)
The ghost bike (Image Credit: John Neary)

The walk also commemorated Blane Morton, a cyclist who was killed riding on Upper James.

Removing the ghost bike from its trailer (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)
Removing the ghost bike from its trailer (Image Credit: Jeffrey Neven)

After the event, Burak wrote, "Here we stand at the crossroads of these two inhuman roads, discussing how to disperse. No safe options."

Trying to decide how to disperse after the memorial (Image Credit: Sean Burak)
Trying to decide how to disperse after the memorial (Image Credit: Sean Burak)

Noting the excessive lane capacity on the Claremont Access, memorial participant John Neary wrote, "Claremont was totally closed for [approximately] ten minutes. Nine minutes after one lane reopened, it's empty again."

Road closure on Claremont for memorial walk (Image Credit: John Neary)
Road closure on Claremont for memorial walk (Image Credit: John Neary)

According to a November 2013 report by the Social Planning and Research Council, Hamilton has an injury risk for people walking that is 42 percent higher than the provincial average, and an injury risk for people riding bicycles that is 81 percent higher than the provincial average.

Saddened and outraged residents have already begun calling on Mayor Fred Eisenberger and City Council to commit to safer, more inclusive streets that are designed to eliminate preventable traffic deaths.

Thanks to Sean Burak, Jason Leach, John Neary and Jeffrey Neven for sharing photos of the memorial walk.

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By yesweclaremnont (anonymous) | Posted December 03, 2015 at 14:32:07

Is it too soon to start a yes we claremeont campaign to get a separated multi-use path on claremont?

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By mdrejhon (registered) - website | Posted December 04, 2015 at 15:39:00 in reply to Comment 115370

Twitter is abuzz: The City is now talking about it.

Surprisingly; Terry Whitehead is the first to request a protected Claremont cycleway. He specifically says something better than a painted line. I would say, the trail requires jersey barriers like on King over 403.

Personally, I think it is our city's collective responsibility to deem the name, "The Jay Keddy Cycleway" or "The Jay Keddy Trail". With a scenic rest area and drinking fountain in the middle.

During grieving right now; It may indeed be too early to discuss naming this, but since the city is already reacting and talking of Claremont cycle track already; I absolutely must chime this into the city's already-ongoing discussion. This absolutely cannot be a one-time reaction and forgetting.

Comment edited by mdrejhon on 2015-12-04 15:45:47

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By ergopepsi (registered) | Posted December 04, 2015 at 15:46:03 in reply to Comment 115399

I think that is a wonderful idea to dedicate the lane (if it does indeed get built). As long as the family is ok with it as well.

What a terrible string of events. It just takes the wind out of your sails...

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By Webster (registered) - website | Posted December 05, 2015 at 11:01:37

With all respect to the Keddy family and friends, now is the time to request funding for an eventual dedicated and protected bike lane on the Claremont and perhaps protected routes on some of the other accesses as well. I'm completely empathetic to the tragedy but history tells us the most likely time to get funding from politicians is immediately after a tragedy. Wait too long and the emotional impact will lessen. Part of my professional background is in disaster research, and the best changes in policy, behaviour, and funding increases occur immediately after the disaster incident...at least if someone acts on it. Once the emotional and physical impacts are over, old behaviours and complacency return. While this current tragedy is different, I believe there are parallels, and Terry Whitehead's response helps confirm that possibility. I suspect other politicians and the general public will also be more receptive to changes now than later. I respect the decision to be inclusive of Keddy's family, but change shouldn't be hindered or slowed by that. A protected "Keddy Bike Access" will provide a legacy to ensure someone's parent, sibling, or child doesn't experience a similar tragedy. It's not too early to call or email your councilor if you want change.

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By jnyyz (registered) - website | Posted December 05, 2015 at 13:48:42

As someone who has gone on far too many memorial rides here in Toronto, I applaud the organizers, and I'll really be impressed if they can get the city to act to increase safety on the Claremont Access. When I was growing up in Hamilton (a long time ago), I'd bike up and down the Claremont on my way to Grade 13 at HCI. Hopefully the other thing that a protected bikeway would do would be to decrease the amount of broken glass and debris from car tires, both of which can cause bike tires to flat.

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By acanadianyoda (registered) | Posted November 22, 2016 at 14:14:30

I notice the Ghost Bike was removed several weeks ago.... was that planned?

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