Toronto cyclist outraged but lucky to be alive after being struck by school bus
A Toronto cyclist is still shaken after narrowly escaping serious injury in a collision with a bus this past summer, and demands changes to the car-centric road conditions in neighbourhoods north of the core.
Cyclist Brock Howes knows the dangers of main roads all too well, telling blogTO, "I bike in the city regularly, in bike lanes where available, in traffic when it is not an option. I bike more defensively, sticking to paths, sidestreets, and protected bike lanes when I'm pulling my 4-year-old daughter in our trailer."
"Whether by myself or with her, though, I always do my best to avoid Avenue Road. When I have to cross it, I take the crosswalk at Cottingham. Despite those precautions, I was quite literally hit by a bus."
Fortunately, Howes wasn't cycling with his daughter at the time, and he escaped the scene without serious injury.
"I saw the bus coming and was able to jump away from my bike as it was hit. I had some minor bruising, and that was it."
"Fifteen minutes later, on our way home, this could have been much worse. If it had been a child crossing Avenue — or anyone shorter than that hood — they would be dead."
The incident occurred on July 19th around 4:15 p.m., and though blogTO has been in contact with the victim since the time of the crash, he chose the cautious approach and waited until insurance matters were resolved to provide a full picture of what happened that day.
Howes says the crash occurred within 500 metres of four different schools, and despite all the talk of safety, new cycling infrastructure and the much-criticized #VisionZero plan, more drastic changes are needed.
"Change cannot happen fast enough," he says. "The sidewalks are pitifully narrow, and bike safety is non-existent despite Avenue feeding into the new lanes at Bloor and University."
He argues that since "four lanes are sufficient north of St. Clair, and south of Bloor, there is no reason why we need six lanes and higher speed limits for our stretch that is filled with residential homes, new condos, and multiple schools."
"Torontonians are getting hurt, and it is only a matter of time until there is another death like Miguel Joshua Escanan, the 18-year-old killed last year. Please expedite a solution before that happens. Avenue Road is an embarrassment to Vision Zero."
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