Streetcar tracks. They criss-cross the city, forming the backbone of Toronto’s downtown transportation network. They also strike terror into the heart of local cyclists. A recent study showed one third of cyclists sent to the hospital in the city’s core had a run-in with them, either catching their tires on the tracks or slipping on them during wet weather. Metro hit the streets to ask cyclists about their streetcar track stories, and how the situation might be made safer.
The city is set to embark on a pilot project to keep cyclists safe from a ever-present menace: streetcar tracks.A report going before the public works committee next week recommends testing safety measures at trouble spots where riders frequently get their wheels caught in the tracks.If approved, the pilot project will go ahead in the summer of 2013, and will test out measures to prevent wipeouts on the rails including signage, two-stage left-turn boxes, and pavement markings that direct cyclists over the tracks at safe angles.
Read the full post: “City to launch streetcar track bike safety project” on NOW Magazine .
According to the report, City staff recommend developing a “streetcar track and cyclist” safety strategy. The goal of the strategy will be to actively collect data on streetcar track incidents, communicate safety tips and to ultimately launch a pilot project that will test various pavement markings to improve visibility for cyclists. Cycle Toronto proposed similar short-term recommendations in its August call to action to the City and we are pleased they are taking action. We encourage members of PWIC to adopt the recommendations.
Read the full post: “City of Toronto Addresses Streetcar Track Hazards for Cyclists; New Bike Lanes Absent” on Cycle Toronto.
Streetcar tracks may be a factor in almost a third of all bicycle crashes in Toronto, new research suggests.
Of 276 Toronto cyclists interviewed, 90 reported that streetcar tracks were directly involved in their crashes, says Kay Teschke, a professor in the University of British Columbia’s School of Population and Public Health.
About half of those track-related crashes occurred when a bike tire got caught, according to Teschke, while the rest happened when bike tires slipped on the tracks.
Read the full post: “Streetcar tracks blamed for a third of bicycling injuries” on The Star.
The issue of what to do regarding removing or paving over the decommissioned streetcar tracks on Wychwood Ave (following a recent cycling death there) will be discussed at the upcoming Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) meeting this Wednesday September 12th.
A motion requests that City staff explore improvements to both decommissioned streetcar tracks and active tracks. If you’ve gone down in streetcar tracks, or had a near miss, write the PWIC and tell them your story, why things need to change and perhaps a few options. Jared from Cycle Toronto would also love to have some deputants from our ward during the day- if you are free that day, please email him (email@example.com) and he will connect with you.
- Please go to this link to request to speak or submit comments (it’s super simple!): http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/
- Cycle Toronto press release: http://bikeunion.to/news/2012/08/07/cycle-toronto-calls-city-toronto-investigate-streetcar-track-hazards.
- Jared also shared this resource with tips on making a deputation: http://commitment2community.
- If you are writing to firstname.lastname@example.org directly (not via the link provided) please also cc Cycle Toronto email@example.com and include the specific agenda item in the body of the message to PWIC.