The safety of a Toronto street is being called into question after a pair of multi-car collisions
Cyclist and pedestrian safety advocates are up in arms about Richmond Street in downtown Toronto, where two major multi-car collisions have been reported in the last couple of weeks.
A pair of SUVs were involved in the latest incident on Wednesday afternoon that resulted in both cars careening through a bike lane and colliding with the exterior of a Tim Horton's location at the southwest corner of Richmond and Simcoe, just west of University Avenue.
Larry Koch came upon the scene shortly after the incident, and while he didn't witness the collision itself, he captured the immediate aftermath.
Koch tells blogTO that he was "biking west on Richmond and as I got closer to Simcoe I heard a car horn doing one long note. That turned out to be the black Infiniti SUV on the left, whose driver's airbag deployed as a result of the collision."
A number of people were milling about the accident site, and Koch was unable to determine if anyone was still inside of the vehicles at the time.
NotSafe4BikesTO, an anonymous Twitter account raising awareness about unsafe conditions for cyclists, is particularly troubled by the latest incident at the intersection, describing the situation to blogTO as "unbelievable."
The user states that it is especially unnerving to see these kinds of incidents in the wake of the high-profile Boxing Day crash that hospitalized eight and took the life of an 18-year-old, asking "could you imagine what it feels like for the friends and family to see yet another collision leading to SUVs on the sidewalk on the same street less than two weeks later?"
Just so nobody is confused, these are two separate crashes on Richmond - a street with a 40kmh speed limit— NotSafe4BikesTO (@NotSafe4BikesTO) January 6, 2022
One life senselessly lost already - who will be next?
Broken city pic.twitter.com/7Eb4oLaNNW
Problem areas have been recorded all along Richmond Street, with the one-way thoroughfare often feeling like a compact highway for slower-moving bike and pedestrian traffic.
Also on Richmond https://t.co/749UiSjqyr— NotSafe4BikesTO (@NotSafe4BikesTO) January 6, 2022
Friends and Families for Safe Streets, another voice pushing for improved road safety, calls for the road to be temporarily closed to vehicular traffic while offering suggested improvements that could cut down on the number of incidents.
What would action look like? Shut down Richmond until it's redesigned to make reckless speeding impossible. Narrow car lanes. Raised crosswalks and protected intersections with corner islands. Had this crash happened on other side, #CycleTrack barrier might've stopped/slowed car.— FFSS (@FFSafeStreets) January 4, 2022
NotSafe4BikesTO agrees with these suggestions, saying that "design changes to both Richmond and Adelaide would go a long way to preventing these violent conditions."
"These streets have 40km/h speed limits, but there are absolutely no deterrents for drivers to drive above that speed. These streets are long, wide and straight. Driving at high speed is encouraged by this type of design."
The outspoken safety advocate's frustration on the issue is evident, saying, "If any other form of mobility caused this much violence and damage, it would be banned immediately. We have become far too accepting of road violence in this city."
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