Target practice has begun on the O’Connor Street cycling lanes.
Hours after the lanes were opened this week, a cyclist and car came into collision when an auto made a left turn on O’Connor. The cyclist suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Opening the O’Connor bike lanes while cyclists and motorists are running into each other (one fatally) on a similar Laurier Avenue example (and while an independent safety audit has not been completed) is wildly irresponsible. Here are politicians praising the advent of the O’Connor lanes knowing full well that the Laurier lanes are dangerous. It is arrogant, reckless and incompetent.
Video above: The cyclist taking the video has four close-calls in a few seconds on O’Connor.
Why are things moving so slowly on the bus crash? Because overpasses can cost about $100 million a pop so the city has no budget wiggle-room given that its capital budget is overwhelmed by light rail.
The danger with bike lanes is that cyclists have the right-of-way when standing vehicles make a right turn. The car moves slowly to turn right from a stop. Cyclists approach very quickly with the right-of-way smack in the driver’s blind spot. That right-hooks the cyclist. And that’s one reason a safety audit is underway on the Laurier lane.
The O’Connor lanes are even more dangerous than the Laurier example because cyclists travel two ways on one lane. Motorists are accustomed to one-way bike lanes. In the video above, you’ll see that on O’Connor vehicles can left-hook cyclists. It’s dangerous as the accident this week there illustrates.
Mayor Jim Watson’s tweet just before the cycling accident on O’Connor Street.
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