ghost bike

A preventable death

All photos by Tino

Jenna Morrison died this week. A mother, wife, cyclist and yoga teacher, Jenna was crushed by a turning truck at Sterling and Dundas, near the entrance of the Toronto West Railpath. There was a strong outcry from cyclists and other Torontonians on Twitter, newspapers and blogs. Most people agree it was preventable, and have suggested a number of ways to have prevented it, including truck side guards, bike lanes, safer intersection. Some have also stressed that Jenna should not have been next to the truck and that she was in the blind spot. That may have also contributed but it doesn't obviate other ways to prevent cyclists from getting into these tough spots or ways to minimize the danger if they do.

The Torontoist details how the fight for side guards on large trucks has been stuck in limbo as MP Olivia Chow has championed them for years. A ten year old coroner's inquest recommended side guards when determining they would help save some lives. But an intransigent federal Ministry of Transportation has figured that “side guards would result in ‘decreased competitiveness for Canadian trucking companies'", thus putting a price on these human beings equal to the cost of the roll out of a relatively inexpensive safety measure.

Banner along Railpath

Jack Layton Ghost Bike

Photos by Tino

Ride of Silence 2011

More photos from Tino on Ride of Silence 2011. This ride is a memorial for all those who have died while cycling. It's an international memorial day.

While this ride was going on, City Council decided not to save the Fort York pedestrian/cycling bridge, and Rob Ford mused about removing the Jarvis bike lanes. Seems like people with power have a renewed hate-on for people taking a bike anywhere.

Charlie's memorial in Brooks

memorialCharlie Prinsep was hit by a car, August 4th, 2007 near Brooks, Alberta. I was visiting my family this September near Lethbridge, Alberta. I had made the suggestion that I could make some sort of memorial for Charlie as a favour for family and friends. When I got a response from Charlie's mom that it was a good idea I was committed.

This last Sunday I recruited my mother to help me make the memorial, which ended up being a bike wheel retrieved from a bike store's trash, some flowers, a laminated sheet with a photo and quote from Charlie's brother, and a convenient fence post.

view of roadI convinced my parents to detour to Brooks on my way back to the airport in Calgary and we picked a spot near the entrance to Brooks since I didn't know at the time where he had died. It now looks pretty secure and away from ditch mowers so it may survive a year or two. This is sort of a smaller version of a ghost bike.

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