- Toronto City Council
On May 26, 2012, my life was put in danger when I was bicycling in the Etobicoke region. An SUV with attached trailer swerved directly towards me for absolutely no reason. I was forced to maneuver over rumble strips and into an ending lane. The motorist then moved back into their lane and went about their day.
There are inherent risks to being a cyclist, such as being on the constant lookout for pot holes, cracks in the asphalt, and raised sewer grades. If any of these are along the path, we are forced to swerve around them and put ourselves even closer to our vehicular counterparts. In addition, due to their sheer size, if there is an imminent collision between a vehicle and a cyclist, it is normally the cyclist that is forced to maneuver elsewhere.
As it stands, the Toronto website claims that it has 90 km of bicycle lanes, yet the vast majority of streets are still shared between cyclists and motorists.
Unfortunately, cyclists are limited to the protection of a helmet, where as motorist are surrounded by plastics, metal, and have the luxury of seatbelts, airbags, roll bars, and crumple zones.
I understand that bicycle lanes seem costly because they reduce lane sizes and therefore increase congestion, but this is a matter of preventable injuries and fatalities. Cyclists are pulling their weight (literally) in order to be economically friendly and reduce their carbon footprint. Their reward for this should not be constant fear and anxiety to ending up in the emergency room. I am a working paramedic and see first-hand the blunt trauma and devastation that motor vehicle collisions can cause. People get hurt, and people die.
By submitting this petition, I hope to increase the awareness of the inherent dangers consistently present to all cyclists. Toronto is a leader in many facets, and if bicycle lanes were put on more roadways (especially larger ones), many other municipalities would follow suit.
I beg you to make your streets safer for those who strive to prove that cars are not the only option.
As it stands, the city of Toronto streets are unfit for cyclists. More bicycle lanes must be implemented on all major streets so that cyclists do not have to live in fear.
There are currently 90 km of bike lanes throughout the city, yet many major streets still force cyclists and motorists to share lanes. It is impractical, and downright dangerous.
There are injuries and fatalities each year because the current system does not work properly. Bicycles and motorized vehicles are two completely different modes of transportation, and therefore should be entitled to two completely different paths.
By signing this petition, you are agreeing that the roads in Toronto are nowhere near suitable to the needs of cyclists. Bicycle riders are doing their part to reduce their carbon footprint, as well as decreasing congestion on our city streets. Right now the reward cyclists receive is in the form of ongoing fear and anxiety of who will cut us off or force us into the curb.
It is dangerous, it is impractical, and it is time for a change.
The Bicycle Lanes for Toronto: Bicycle Lanes Save Lives petition to Toronto City Council was written by Niall Laamanen and is in the category Roads & Transport at GoPetition.