cyclist killed toronto

People take to Toronto streets for all the cyclists killed so far this year

Despite the tens of kilometres of new dedicated bike lanes installed on roads across Toronto in recent months, cyclists are still dying in motor vehicle accidents, and advocates are asking officials to take more action to make our thoroughfares safer for all.

To draw further attention to the issue and mourn the lives lost on T.O. streets, a substantial "ghost ride" motorcade of residents on bikes made their way around the downtown core on Wednesday night.

In the first half of this year alone, there were 63 incidents in which a pedestrian or cyclist was seriously injured or killed. Four cyclists have died in total in the city in 2020, including three in the past three months.

The latest was 23-year-old Ryerson journalism student Alex Amaro, who was struck while commuting down Dufferin Street after picking up some essentials from Dufferin Mall on the evening of Dec. 2.

Amaro's tragic death has led to calls for better provisions for pedestrians and cyclists on the roadway, including from Ward 9 Davenport City Councillor and Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão, who has long suggested reducing speed limits — a measure already implemented on Dufferin — expediting transit corridors and studies for bike lanes, and adding more red light and speed enforcement cameras, among other things.

The City has plans to add additional bike lanes, to prioritize public transit over cars, to revamp problematic intersections to make them easier and safer for residents to traverse, and to continue with its Vision Zero Road Safety Plan, but incidents of vehicles blocking bike lanes or people dumping snow into them are among the things making safe riding harder.

Thankfully, due to the health crisis and resulting lockdowns, the number of cyclist and pedestrian deaths this year has been drastically lower than in previous years, in which there were dozens.

But still, any amount of avoidable deaths on Toronto streets is too many.

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