If you happened to cross the Bloor Street Viaduct on Monday afternoon, you might have noticed David Curtis, his partner Laura and a couple of die-hard activists still givn’er with placards, after 4 solid days of Car Free activity.
Our targets were the many drivers who speed Eastbound, jamming into the right lane to exit down on to the Don Valley Parkway (which looks beautifully resurfaced for next year’s Ride for Heart, by the way!!!).
Perhaps more importantly, we felt a need to target cyclists as well, who are forced to merge across this auto-mania, as their Bike Lane abruptly ends. The dangers were imminent as we watched rider after rider cut into the traffic lane without so much as a hand signal or even a backward glance! Drivers were time and time again “cut off” and forced to slam on their brakes to avoid plowing the cyclist down.
“Cyclists who want to be treated equally by motorists need to shape up.” says Curtis. “Make sure that you’re giving drivers as much time to react as possible and ride according to the rules of the road. It works both ways and it’s a simple ethos to adhere to. I know, it’s such a pain sometimes to stop at a red light, but by blowing through, at best you’re irritating drivers and tarring all cyclists with the same brush. At worst you and others are going to get hurt.”
The City has been made aware of the dangers of this particular zone, by both individuals and activist groups alike, and yet still no signage or redesign on the road appears to be in sight. Possibilities shown here are courtesy of the FERGUSON PILOT B.I.K.E.* PROJECT:
“It might also help all road users if our collective mindsets were altered.” muses David. “That’s an individual thing of course and one sign on the Bloor Viaduct that asks people to share the road may not account for much. However, if that message were all over town, it might eventually sink in. That includes completing the bike lane network at a rather more rapid pace than we’re used to.”
The Viaduct danger-zone falls surprisingly in Paula Fletcher’s Ward, who has been relatively bike-friendly in my experience. Perhaps she needs our help in lighting a fire under City Hall’s ass on this one? If you know, or are concerned about the dangers of this lane change, or if you are a resident of Ward 30, please take a few moments to contact Councillor Fletcher and let her know.
Councillor Paula Fletcher
City Hall - 100 Queen Street West, Suite C44
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2