Given the number of collisions that have taken place at Cannon and Wellington, it makes sense to add high-visibility pavement markings.
By Ryan McGreal
Published December 05, 2014
Earlier this week, I posted a story about a number of collisions involving bicycles on the Cannon Cycle Track in the first two months of operation. In three of the instances, the cyclist was riding in the cycle track and collided with a car turning left across the cycle track. The driver was charged in all three cases. (In the other two, the cyclist was either riding on the cross street or riding on Cannon outside the cycle track.)
Cannon Street Cycle Track at Wellington
Almost immediately, I received a message from a cyclist about a collision that was not included in the city's incident data. Like three of the other incidents, this also took place at Cannon and Wellington.
I followed up with the police and received the following description of the incident:
On Thursday, November 6, 2014 at approximately 17:30 HPS responded to a motor vehicle collision involving personal injury at the intersection of Cannon Street East and Wellington Street North, in the City of Hamilton. On arrival, a cyclist was being loaded into an ambulance. The involved vehicle, a Toyota Sierra was parked on the east side of Wellington Street south of Cannon.
Investigation revealed that the Toyota had been traveling westbound on Cannon Street and made a left turn to travel southbound on Wellington Street. The cyclist had been traveling eastbound on Cannon Street in the bicycle lane. Signs indicate vehicles are to yield to cyclists in the bicycle lanes.
The Toyota turned into the path of the cyclist and he hit the passenger's side of the Toyota. The cyclist was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
This matches the cyclist's description of what happened:
I was travelling east on Cannon, probably at around 10mph, at about 5:15 in the evening on Thursday, 6 November. The driver of a westbound minivan turned left onto Wellington right in front of my bike; I was already in the intersection when she started her turn. I struck the side of her vehicle at full speed, but was able to turn slightly so I took the hit on my side rather than hitting her head-on.
The police were not immediately able to confirm whether any charges were laid as a result of the collision, and I have not yet been able to determine why this incident was not included in the set of collision reports I received from the City.
According to the cyclist, "the driver is being charged with careless driving and, since my light was knocked off on impact and none of my witnesses answered the phone when the cops called, I'm being charged with not having a front light."
The cyclist also reports that his clavicle is fractured in two places and requires "a very risky surgical intervention".
When the Cannon Cycle Track was designed, the design included pavement markings through intersections - regarded as "conflict zones" because of the potential for collisions when drivers turn across the path of cyclists.
The City officially opened the cycle track without adding the intersection markings, but stated in an October information report that the markings would be added in the next four weeks. Unfortunately, that hasn't happened yet.
When staff do add markings, I urge them to consider a high-visibility design similar to the intersection markings on the Dunsmuir Street cycle track in Vancouver:
Intersection markings on Dunsmuir Bike Lanes, Vancouver (Image Credit: Streetsblog)
The Functional Design document for the Cannon Cycle Track specifies dashed guiding lines and chevrons in white paint, similar to the intersection markings currently in place on Cannon and Sherman:
Cannon cycle track at Sherman (RTH file photo)
Given the number of collisions that have already taken place at Cannon and Wellington, this seems like an obvious choice to go with a higher-visibility design in this important pilot project.
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