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54 Comments

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Cyclist Killed in Dundas Street Accident

CityNews is reporting that a female cyclist was struck and killed today on Dundas Street West, between Sterling Road and Sorauren Avenue. The collision apparently involved a truck, and took place just before noon. The 505 Dundas and 506 College streetcars are turning back at Lansdowne, and Dundas is closed in both directions between Lansdowne and Sorauren.

Update, 1:02 PM: In an on-air interview with CP24, Constable Hugh Smith just stated that the accident happened when a five-tonne cube truck, headed south on Sterling Road, made a right onto Dundas Street, apparently as the cyclist was coming out of a bike lane and merging into traffic. Smith continued to clarify that police were “not looking at excessive speed” as a factor, but rather investigating “whether the cyclist was visible” to the truck driver given her speed and position relative to the driver, and the arrangement of mirrors on the truck. Smith described it as a “preventable collision,” but the precise way things went wrong here isn’t yet clear. The driver of the truck is being questioned by police on site, and police expect Dundas to be closed for some time yet. The victim has not yet been identified, but is said by police to be in her early 40s.

Comments

  • Josca

    This intersection is one of the worst in the city, and I’m not surprised something like this doesn’t happen more often. Totally tragic.

  • westendbiker

    Agree completely w/ Josca. That little strip of road is terrible for cyclists. It’s in my ‘hood and I’ve seen many accidents over the years, particularly with cyclists making the left turn from Dundas West to College. Awful.

    • http://twitter.com/ellstar Danielle

      I’ve taken to walking my bike across the bridge and walking it across and THEN joining up with college at Lansdowne as drivers in that area are highly aggressive when I try to take a left hand turn from Dundas St to College.

      • http://twitter.com/amugsgame Matthew Higgins

        I find the best technique is just to wait where that bike lane ends for a nice big gap, then I push off and cross. Crossing the bridge itself can be nasty. It bothers me when large trucks make no effort to slow down or move over when they’re passing cyclists in that shoulder lane.

  • Anonymous

    Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks! My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day..

    • Scott

      No its not. What a stupid thing to say.

      • http://twitter.com/Jay_Wall Jay Wall

        Yes, a stupid thing to say, but those are the words of our Mayor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nySs1cEq5rs

      • http://twitter.com/ChrisDartCOTF Chris Dart

        Um, that’s a quote. From our mayor.

        • James

          Hence the quotation marks.

    • TB

      You are obviously not a bike-rider, but do need to step into the modern age. Biking is not only healthy, but a lifestyle choice for people who choose to experience their environments in more diverse ways. In keeping with the times, everyone should be made more aware as to how to share the roadways.

      • Anonymous

        Just to be clear, I am a bike rider. I also enjoy quoting our good mayor from time to time.

    • Leila

      What a disgusting thing to say.

    • karin s

      “I can’t support bike lanes. Roads are built for buses, cars, and trucks. My heart bleeds when someone gets killed, but it’s their own fault at the end of the day.” – Rob Ford

      (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nySs1cEq5rs)

    • chromeo

      Thats a Rob Ford comment if I’ve ever heard one.

    • http://twitter.com/cyberdsignclan CDC

      Shut your god-damned idiot mouth.

    • http://blog.yasmary.com yaz

      You forgot the /quote tag :p

    • death

      What? Roads are built for vehicles. Bikes are vehicles. Probably shouldn’t quote the mayor if you don’t want to come off as a complete idiot.

    • NotYourFault

      She was a pregnant mother on her way to pick up other child at kindergarten and your heart bleeds? It’s not your fault you’re a reptile.

    • Mpare49

      Bicycles have a legal right to be on the road. So long as bicyclists operate the bikes in accordance with the rules of the road they are not fair game for those driving cars, buses or trucks. So, it is wrong, if not downright silly, to say that “it’s their own fault …”

  • http://twitter.com/elenacpotter Elena Potter

    This is an extremely dangerous spot, and yet it’s the only southern entrance to the West Toronto Railpath (one of the safest and best places to bike for transportation and recreation). I wish there could be a safer solution to this, because right now the railpath is like a highway with no on-ramp.

  • Anonymous

    Horrific. Why are 18-wheelers even allowed in the city? Everything else on the road is the size of a goddam bug in comparison.

    • Curious_toronto_guy

      “Why are 18-wheelers even allowed in the city?”

      I take it this is a rhetorical question or something, as the article above CLEARLY states the vehicle involved was a “five-tonne cube truck”.

      As for why 18-wheelers are allowed in the city? They are needed to deliver EVERYTHING YOU EAT, WEAR AND RIDE.

      Or did your bicycle just migrate from the organic bicycle farm?

      Jesus.

      • Anonymous

        Ok, let me rephrase. Why are the rear wheels on trucks (cube, dump, 18 wheeler) fully exposed? Why isn’t there are skirt or guard that would reduce the chance of people being pulled under and crushed?

        Yes, these trucks are common. And for a minimal cost they could be made a hell of lot safer.

        • Antinephalist

          There have been proposals and demands to make wheel guards mandatory on trucks like this for years.

          Naturally, the trucking industry is resisting it vociferously.

      • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

        It is true that there are too many unnecessary 18-wheeler trucks in the city, simply because it’s more convenient for corporations and no one else gives enough of a damn. Both Starbucks and Tim Hortons stores are resupplied from those, even downtown. The Starbucks on College at Euclid has an 18-wheeler parked in front of it nightly around 9-10 PM (blocking the bike lane, natch). I’ve also seen the Tim’s on King at John resupplied from an 18-wheeler parked on John during the day.

        It’s simply not necessary to deliver coffee and doughnuts using 18-wheelers. Smaller, city-sized vehicles could be used, but they’re not, because no one will stand up and say anything.

      • Greg

        my bicycle migrated from the organic bicycle farm…..

  • Anonymous

    Don’t feed the trolls.

  • dnesan

    No, roads are also meant for bikes. That’s the law. It isn’t necessarily her “own fault”. Especially in an incident when the police deem the accident preventable. There’s usually plenty of blame to go around, but all of us can do a better job (drivers and cyclists alike) of sharing the road and being aware of each other. Attitudes like yours simply guarantee that the situation will remain the same, the roads will remain unsafe for bikers, and grow increasingly jammed with cars driven by the ignorant and the unaware.

  • karin s

    [edit: posted in the wrong comment thread]

  • Ipoodaily

    Please don’t call it an “accident”.

    • Eva

      Why would a driver TRY to kill somebody? If you’ve ever driven a car you will know that killing somebody, or hitting a pedestrian is the biggest fear you have aside from launching yourself off a bridge.

      Also, one could argue that roads ARE built for cars and trucks. They SHOULD be built for bikers as well though. Obviously this stretch of road was not keeping bikers in mind at all. Trucks have a lot of blind spots, and bikers, as well as drivers of normal sized cars, should always be careful around them.

      Don’t start a biker/car argument, neither are to blame when the infrastructure is not there to support both. The two sides shouldn’t be fighting, they should be working together.

      • http://twitter.com/mikeykolberg Mikey Kolberg

        Eva, while I take your point that this isn’t the place to start an unhelpful car vs. bike argument, Ipoodaily’s comment has some merit. Police advocate that we take the word “accident” out of our vocabulary when it comes to traffic incident like this one and instead use the “collision.” Retired OPP officer Cam Woolley (now a reporter for cp24) was a big advocate of this.

        http://www.yorkregion.com/community/health/article/939231–safety-first-retired-opp-officer-and-reporter-cam-woolley

        By saying collision instead of accident, we acknowledge that all traffic fatalities are preventable.

        • Eva

          Oh! I was unaware of this, that’s very interesting. I guess I misunderstood because I’ve heard some very unhelpful people in this debate discuss drivers or cabbies as bike hating murderers.

          Oops. I would agree that traffic fatalities are preventable. :)

        • Antinephalist

          Danny Butterman: Hey, why can’t we say “accident,” again?
          Nicholas Angel: Because “accident” implies there’s nobody to blame.

          “Hot Fuzz”

      • deterrent

        Car drivers love it when cyclists die. They revel in the deterrent. Maybe they don’t want to kill bikers themselves but they are happy when it happens.

  • Anonymous

    The photo in the CBC report seems to be taken right at the corner of Sterling and Dundas, with the bike in or next to the Dundas bike lane, so possibly not ‘merging into traffic’.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/story/2011/11/07/cyclist-toronto-struck578.html

    • Anonymous

      Hmmm. Possibly the constable spoke too soon, or possibly the bike ended up someplace different than it was when the collision began. We’ll definitely update if the police provide additional details as their investigation proceeds.

  • Anonymous

    I bike here with my kids to go on the railpath…. shocking.

  • http://twitter.com/amugsgame Matthew Higgins

    Many drivers (note: I am roughly equal parts driver, cyclist, and TTC user) complain about cyclists using pedestrian crosswalks at intersections whenever they feel like it, but this accident is an example of why cyclists need to be given a break when it comes to that stuff in this city. I bike over that bridge to Sorauren many days, and I have to say that it’s absolutely one of the worst places to be cyclist around here. If I was guessing, I’d say the victim here was coming up out of the rail-path and was trying to position herself in traffic so that she could make a proper turn left at Sorauren. I gave up on trying to merge there a long time ago. I just bike onto the sidewalk at Sorauren and wait for the walk light, then I bike across the crosswalk. Drivers give me crap about it all the time, but trying to merge with car traffic over the bridge is usually a pretty poor decision, despite the fact that it’s the so-called right thing to do.

    • SamS

      I do the same thing. Not only is it dangerous to try to merge with traffic coming over the bridge AND over streetcar tracks, it also slows cars down if I am in front of them trying to turn left. And I gave up trying to turn left onto college from Dundas a long time ago. This is a horrible story; so sad for both parties. We need better infrastructure so that bikes and cars aren’t at odds trying to share the roads.

  • Anonymous

    The cyclists golden rule: NEVER PASS A VEHICLE ON THE RIGHT AT AN INTERSECTION OR DRIVEWAY. EVER.
    I don’t know how many times I’ve seen other cyclists do this. There needs to be some education on this exact thing. Maybe a 30 second spot on TV and Radio to get the pint across would help.

    • Anonymous

      What if the cyclist was biking up the hill towards Dundas slowly and the truck driver passed the cyclist and then made too sharp a turn, crushing the bike trailer and then dragging the cyclist under the wheels? In that scenario the scary thing is, there is nothing the cyclist could have done to prevent it – except riding in the middle of the lane. The driver makes a mistake and the cyclist dies.

      • HPP

        Based on what was seen from our office, your hypothesis is wrong- (xinsight) You are attaching blame to a driver without knowing the facts. Also, I agree with acedanger, NEVER pass a vehicle on the right side at an intersection, especially a cube truck. The point is, it sounds like people are placing blame on either the driver or the cyclist. The reality is, that this IS a dangerous intersection with a rail path that is not clearly marked or visble. This poses a danger to both cyclist and motorists. I work there and I see the dangers that exist between motorists and cyclists. It has more to do with the intersection than anything else. Cyclists make mistakes and so do drivers. In this case, I am speaking about a very dangerous intersection that contributed to this tragedy.

    • http://piorkowski.ca qviri

      I agree with this message 100%, but it seems a bit harshly worded considering we don’t know whether this is what had happened here.

  • HPP

    I work in the office located on the North-West corner of that intersection. We were all visibly upset and shaken by this tragedy. I can attest to exactly how dangerous that intersection is, especially with the added distraction of people coming off the bike trail. This bike trail is not well identified to alert motorists. I have witnessed many close calls there. Something needs to be done before this happens again. It is not uncommon to see bikes exiting that bike trail at a high rate of speed without stopping for traffic. That is not what happend today, but cyclists should be required to make a full stop before crossing that intersection. In this case, likely the motorist didn’t see the bike exit the bike trail, was not even aware that one existed. That bike trail is situated in a very awkward angle and difficult for motorists to see. There needs to be a set of traffic lights there or it will inevitably happen again. Our office as been making this issue known for a few years, well before the bike trail existed. This intersection is dangerous even for us to come to work.

    • Anonymous

      The cyclist was going south on Sterling. This accident had nothing to do with the rail trail.

  • HPP

    I work at the office that is located on the North-West corner of that intersection. Many in the office were visibly upset and shaken by this tragedy. I can attest as to exactly how dangerous this intersection is. The rail path, (bike path) is an added distraction for motorists. The rail path is not clearly marked or visible to motorists and this further complicates an already busy intersection. There has been many close calls that we have witnessed. When I am driving to work going Eastbound on Dundas to make a right onto Sterling Ave. I have to be very vigilant. This requires extreme caution because one minute it looks clear, the next minute there are bikes exiting the trail without stopping or even looking. There should be a mandatory stop sign for cyclists exiting that trail. Having said that, this does not appear to be what happend today. That truck driver probably did not even see the bike trail and as he appoached that intersection, there was likely no bike there. As he proceeded to make the right turn, he was unaware that a bike had exited the bike trail and was attempting to pass the truck on his right. She likley misjudged the space that is required when a truck of that size makes a sharp right turn. Our office has tried many times to bring attention to the problem of this intersection, even before the rail path was there. There needs to be traffic control lights at this intersection or sadly this will inevitably happen again.

    • HPP

      Sorry, my post didn’t show up so I re poste it, now it’s there 3 x’s… :(

    • Poor guy.

      So she had it coming you say. And the poor innocent truck driver never had a chance.

      • HPP

        if you were capable of intelligent thought, you would not post such a low brow comment. Seriously, read it again and again until you are able to comprehend what I stated. Twits abound on the net!

  • HPP

    I work at the office that is located on the North-West corner of that intersection. Many in the office were visibly upset and shaken by this tragedy. I can attest as to exactly how dangerous this intersection is. The rail path, (bike path) is an added distraction for motorists. The rail path is not clearly marked or visible to motorists and this further complicates an already busy intersection. There has been many close calls that we have witnessed. When I am driving to work going Eastbound on Dundas to make a right onto Sterling Ave. I have to be very vigilant. This requires extreme caution because one minute it looks clear, the next minute there are bikes exiting the trail without stopping or even looking. There should be a mandatory stop sign for cyclists exiting that trail. Having said that, this does not appear to be what happened today. That truck driver probably did not even see the bike trail and as he approached that intersection, there was likely no bike there. As he proceeded to make the right turn, he was unaware that a bike had exited the bike trail and was attempting to pass the truck on his right. She likely misjudged the space that is required when a truck of that size makes a sharp right turn. Our office has tried many times to bring attention to the problem of this intersection, even before the rail path was there. There needs to be traffic control lights at this intersection or sadly this will inevitably happen again.

  • Holoworld

    The Railpath should never have been allowed to terminate in that manner. It is not appropriate or safe for a cylist to enter on to Sterling in that location. The path should be bent so that cyclists access Sterling where they are visable and a safe distance from Dundas.

    • HPP

      Bravo, an intelligent response. This is not about cyclist vs motorist. This is a dangerous intersection as I stated that NEEDS to have safety measures implemented as soon as possible to prevent another tragedy. Politics isn’t about truth, it’s about agendas. More intelligent responses like yours are required if this issue is to be properly addressed. Now, perhaps, after years of our office requesting that something be done, something WILL actually be done.

  • http://lauraisbored.com/ laura iaccino

    it kind of bothers me that a similar accident was not mentioned on this site, and received much more coverage on the news.

    aaron beamish was struck and killed by a garbage truck while longboarding last month at king and spadina…

    was it not worth mentioning because he wasn’t a cyclist and this wouldn’t spark the heated bicycle debates that are so frequent for the city?