In the wake of cyclist Jenna Morrison’s tragic death last November, area residents gathered last night to discuss ways to make this notorious intersection less treacherous.
Jenna Morrison’s death last November was only the worst of a string of accidents at one of the city’s worst intersections for cyclists and cars—that was the consensus this past Monday night, when two dozen people converged on St. Helen’s Church, two blocks from the site of Morrison’s accident, to grill city staff on safety improvements for the area.
Daniel Egan, manager for cycling infrastructure, summed up what those in attendance already knew: “As we looked into this, we discovered lots of other problems.”
Along Dundas, from Sterling to the west and College to the east, there are a series of blind spots, with fast traffic and little signage—the whole stretch is truly one of the worst places in town for cyclists and drivers to share the road. On Sterling, trucks from nearby factories make wide turns onto Dundas and fail to notice adjacent cyclists; cars driving over the bridge tend to move too quickly to adjust to cycling traffic. Morrison was killed when she fell under the rear wheel of a truck, after being struck while making a right turn onto Dundas from Sterling Road.
Some solutions discussed include zebra crossings and a traffic light at Sterling and Dundas, as short-term solutions. Longer-term ideas included extending the West Toronto Railpath by constructing a bi-directional bikeway east of Sterling. At a proposed four meters wide, the separated pathway will need to go through the usual City Hall studies and assessments, but Egan, who bikes from Riverdale to City Hall each day, is optimistic: The political will for separated cycling paths seems to exist, as with planned lanes on Sherbourne and Wellseley.
As the small crowd exited the church, the majority of them headed for locked to St. Helens’ gate—there was no post-and-ring parking in sight.