dufferin street toronto

Toronto may make changes to the street where young cyclist was killed

Changes may be coming soon to a stretch of roadway where a young cyclist lost her life in Toronto in December.

Alex Amaro, a 23-year-old student, was cycling home on Dec. 2 when she was killed on Dufferin at Sylvan near Dufferin Mall. She was struck by a cargo van that threw her into northbound traffic where she was fatally struck by an SUV.

Calls for improved safety on Dufferin came shortly after Amaro's death, and now the city is considering changes to the busy roadway.

On the day of her death, Amaro was cycling from Dufferin Mall.

"All she was trying to do was come home," Vanessa Gentile, a close friend of Amaro, told councillors at a Toronto and East York Community Council meeting.

Gentile said she visits Amaro's ghost bike at Dufferin and Sylvan across from the mall regularly and is frustrated by the lack of change on this part of Dufferin.

"The road is a highway despite it being a 40 km/h area," Gentile said. "The reckless driving and speeding is the norm, I am often made to feel unsafe, even crossing the road on foot."

As Dufferin is a major artery for cycling commuters, Justine Neira Ariza, another friend of Amaro's, wants speed controlled in this area.

"The strip of Dufferin between College and Bloor is treated as a racetrack," she said.

The most important issue for friends and family is to get a bus and cyclist priority lane reducing Dufferin from the current four traffic lanes down to two lanes, Mark Savic told the council.

No amount of speed-reducing measures such as traffic cameras will work as well as reducing the number of traffic lanes, Savic said.

Staff confirmed they are working on the dedicated bus lane study but it will take time.

Traffic control signals along Dufferin at Lindsay and Sylvan, at Geary, and at Goodwood and Cloverlawn are also under consideration.

A follow-up report on traffic control signals at these three locations will be submitted to the June 24 meeting of Toronto and East York Community Council for further consideration.

Other possibilities include a red light camera at the intersection of College and Dufferin, designating a section of Dufferin as a Community Safety Zone, and installing over 20 new street light poles and 180 fixtures.

Lead photo by

Cardinal Funeral Homes

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