The Star has the sad story of a cyclist killed in the Mount Dennis area last week. A motorist struck 70-year-old Gary Sim while he rode near Alliance and Jane. He later died in hospital.
The police recently released a 10-year data set on cyclist and pedestrian deaths and serious injuries, which your correspondent has mapped for Ward 11. The results are telling.
- Four pedestrians and one cyclist have been struck at Weston and Lawrence.
- 19 pedestrians and four cyclists have been struck on Weston Road.
- Ten more pedestrians and four cyclists have been hit along Jane.
These data are certainly very conservative, and only report deaths and serious injuries.
Many of these accidents—I use the word loosely—happen because we have very poor cycling and pedestrian infrastructure.
There is no way, for instance, to get to the Junction, and the bike paths from there to downtown, without riding on the hilly, fast, four-lane Jane expressway. Riding on Weston terrifies even me, a gigantic, fast, fit and ferocious cyclist.
In fact, not one path connects Weston or Mount Dennis with the downtown. This is crazy. The solution is simple and expensive: a dual-use railside path (and a lane along Eglinton).
The West Toronto Railpath is exceptional. It’s fast and safe, and good enough for downtown. Why isn’t it good enough for Weston?
Metrolinx could make this happen. They’re working on electrification, which will entail widening and moving tracks (again). Instead of wasting billions on hydrogen powered trains, they could build paths for potato-powered people.