Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter
Explore more posts like this: , , , , ,

Assaulted for Biking past a Streetcar

 

Yesterday, Denise Ing broke one of her cardinal rules of biking and biked by a streetcar stopping for passengers.  A waiting passenger assaulted her and the other TTC passengers supported this action.

 

I’m friends with Denise, and she’s one of the nicest people I know, and I share her belief that cyclists should not bike past stopped (or stopping) streetcars.  Assaulting someone is a crime, and the TTC driver as well as the TTC passengers who did nothing after this happened should be ashamed.

 

Denise admits that she shouldn’t have biked past the streetcar, and the following is her story:

 

For the worst days of winter, I had decided to combine my Bixi membership with a TTC Metropass in order to keep biking a regular part of my commute.  As I biked east toward the Bixi station at Queen St. W. and York St., I spotted the 501 Queen streetcar coming up behind me.  In a bid to catch the 501, I raced towards my destination, arriving at the intersection just behind a 502 Downtowner streetcar with passengers already stepping off the curb.  

In a split second, I decided to go against my better judgement, and proceed on my bike.  This action also went against my personal beliefs; I am usually the cyclist waiting patiently for TTC commuters to board and disembark, and shouting at cyclists who callously plow through them.

But my impatience got the better of me, and I committed an offence.  As I biked behind a passenger, he turned around suddenly and body checked me.  The sturdiness of the Bixi saved me from flying into the glass TTC shelter, and I recovered quickly.  I screamed at the man who had just assaulted me, while he shouted back his justification for this act.  

I quickly parked my Bixi at the station, and ran back across the intersection in time to board the streetcar of my assailant.  I demanded that the streetcar operator call the police to report an assault.  There was a collective groan from the passengers.  The TTC employee asked me if I was hurt.  I was forced to admit that I was not.  “Do you really want to delay this streetcar full of people for nothing?” he asked.  Some of the passengers started heckling me.  

In desperation, I asked the TTC employee to kick my assailant off the streetcar so that we could both wait for the police on the sidewalk.  I could not hear his answer in the chorus of protests.  “Why should he be kicked off?” “You shouldn’t have been cycling past a stopped streetcar!”  “It was your fault!”  I cannot recall hearing anything from my assailant, who hid at the back, letting others take up his cause.

As I stood in the middle of the streetcar, shaking from the adrenaline still coursing through me, I withered under the hostility and indifference.  For these TTC passengers, I represented every cyclist who almost hit them when they should have stopped, every fixie aficionado who couldn’t skid stop fast enough, every cyclist who biked merrily on, oblivious to the shouts of outrage directed at his or her back.

I retreated for the exit of the streetcar, throwing accusations at the passengers that they had just assisted in an assault.  One passenger got up abruptly, announcing that she was getting off because she did not support the assault.  Others watched in silence.  To the credit of the streetcar operator, he did not slam the doors shut in my face.  

It meant a lot to have the support of that one passenger, but it was upsetting to be the focus of the simmering anger of TTC riders, kindled by a thousand discourteous acts of my fellow cyclists.



[photo by draughtsmon]





RECENTLY ON BIKING TORONTO:

11164590_1589898671259424_5323907149428277118_o

EVENT: Sat, June 6 – Bells on Danforth 2015

Only a week to go! A pedal-powered parade to celebrate cycling! Bells on Danforth returns for our fourth annual family-friendly ride across the Danforth. This year the ride reverses direction, starting at the Prince Edward Viaduct and riding east to the crossroads of the Danforth. When: Sat, June 6; 10:30am Start: Prince Edward Viaduct Parkette […]

KROFw8sl

ARREST HER: Driver somehow gets her car on the Railpath; reportedly HITS A CHILD.

You can’t make this stuff up folks. The following is from the Reddit comments thread.  Did this idiot actually hit a child?!!?!? It was reported to Police by many, especially after she hit a little girl. From Councillor Ana Bailao: Immediately after hearing about this incident my office notified Parks Supervisor Lennox Morgan and local […]

17593486693_d5a405eae5_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: King St Shadows

Source: Original photo – by PureWest on Flickr.via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group. Also check out the thousands of amazing photos that have been shared on instagram with the #biketo hashtag!

5133801801_54d7ee2889_b-e1432740027705-878x494

OH YEAH: Downtown Vancouver businesses’ attitudes towards bike lanes have changed in the last 5 years

“We want downtown to be accessible by all modes of transportation and I think if we say, ‘Well, we’re not interested in separated bike lanes because of this and that, we’re going to basically exclude ourselves from a growing market of people that commute to work by bike as well as people that are living […]

photo

OH YEAH: Prince Edward Viaduct may keep those Jersey Barriers for ALL of Bike Month!

Big ups to Councillor Paula Fletcher, who has requested that those awesome jersey barriers that have separated the eastbound viaduct bikelanes from car traffic (above) during a period of construction STAY for all of Bike Month, so city staff can study the impact of the jersey barriers from now until June 25th. Construction work related […]

School-Shot-3-1024x768

REVIEW: Bike to Work Day 2015 

What began in Toronto as Bike to Work Day  in 1989 has evolved to become one of the largest events of its kind in Canada and is now celebrated across the city for a full month with hundreds of community-driven events. Today, May 25, at Bike to Work Day, bike-friendly politicians (including an appearance by […]

MLandry_Sunnyside-140920-00967

OH YEAH: The Origin Story of Sunnyside Bike Park – An Advocacy Success Story

In early 2011, the High Park BMX jumps were removed as they were on the Seneca Wolf Clan’s Serpent Mounds in the south east corner of the park. A few members of the Toronto Off-Road Bicycle Association (TORBA) approached the new Ward 13 Councillor, Sarah Doucette to ask what the City was going to do […]

18060468762_4368abd3e7_b

PHOTO OF THE DAY: Bike Parc

Source: Original photo – by adsmultimedia@gmail.com on Flickr. The City of Toronto aims to provide a safe, comfortable and bicycle friendly environment that includes bicycle-friendly streets, bike parks and an extensive paved multi-use trail network. via Flickr. See this and 7,000+ other amazing bike photos in the Biking Toronto Flickr Group. Also check out the […]

TRAVEL Log Toronto Cycling 20140714

NEWS: Should cyclists be allowed to ride through stop signs?

Obviously, yes.  Just like drivers are.  Spend any time at a stop sign and watch how many cars do “rolling stops” if there ar no other moving vehicles near the intersection.  Spoiler alert: almost every driver does rolling stops, just like cyclists do. In fact, when I learned to drive in Newmarket, a stop sign […]

20150428-590-BMC2

SHOP: Brand new bike shop a shrine for serious cyclists

Well, the headline is a little stupid… it should read “…shrine for roadie cyclists”, as “serious” doesn’t only apply to those willing to drop thousands of dollars on a bike. It applies equally to the tens (hundreds?) of thousands of Torontonians who are serious about using their bike to get around the city – to […]

Recommended Lights

"Frog" Lights

Planet Bike Light Combo

Planet Bike 5 LED Tail Light
Recommended Books
See More Books



RECENT NEWS POSTS: