Today's Toronto Star reports on the latest in a recent spate of cycling accidents to hit the capital's streets.
There is also a report about the growing number of ghost bikes" - solitary white bike memorials - leaning against our lampposts. Toronto's cycling fatalities - 12 in the last four years - are a disgrace, as is the list of serious injuries.
The response to them is not encouraging either. City Councillor Adrian Heaps, in reacting to the latest accident (which happened at the bottom of my street), noted, "there's no point putting in a bike lane if people don't know what a bike lane is."
The Star article goes on to quote Toronto Cyclists Union spokesperson Yvonne Bambrick: "There is an education component for both drivers and cyclists".
I have two thoughts on this:
Who the hell doesn't know what a bike lane is? The only reason a person may not know what a bike lane is in Toronto, is because there are so few of them around.
Education is not the key to improving safety on our roads.
The best way to improve bicycle safety on our roads is by design. Cars and bikes will never share the same limited road space safely. We are as guilty as each other of making improper lane changes, of turning without looking, and it is, of course, the more vulnerable cyclist who always comes out the worst.
But what Toronto (and Hamilton for that matter) needs desperately is an extensive network of dedicated bike lanes - and soon, before our entire city becomes plastered with these sad ghost bike reminders of our unsafe streets.
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