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August 07, 2012



Its sad to hear of the death of another cyclist especially when it was easily preventable. The tracks should have been either removed or filled in when they went out of service. I hope the family of the deceased sues the city.


To start, I think this *does* show the benefits of helmets, and contradicts those who argue that, because helmets won't help in a head-on collision with a car, they aren't useful at all.

However, I think you're still 100% correct that better infrastructure would prevent collisions instead of just limiting their damage.

From a local point of view: it is certainly hard two cross train tracks at a 90 degree angle...
- when the bike path tells you to cross at a 10 degree angle (Erb & Caroline),
- or when the multi-use trail crosses tracks at a 45 degree angle (Iron Horse Trail in Victoria Park).

Are there other bad local railway crossings I've missed?


Sort of reminds me of an old train track section here in St. Catharines.

In all my 25 years of living here I've never seen a train cross them -- however most of it was finally covered.

The 'bicycle fall' sign remains up:


Some people are also suggesting it was a medical issue which caused him to fall.
A few years back a taxi driver suffered a heart attack and smashed into a pole. It wasn't the crash that killed him but the heart attack.
Could have been a similar situation here.


To save money... just like the iron horse crossing is still at a terrible angle. I see there are saw marks around the rails so I guess they are doing something this construction season.

Old streetcar rails should definitely be top-coated with something. It's expensive to rip them out of the road, I heard on the radio that it's 5000$/metre so it's only something that would be done on the rare times the entire road gets ripped up for major service work, which sadly enough hasn't likely been done in 30 or 40 years on that road (just a guess here)

Still though I think that some sort of work-around must exist. I imagine the rails could be covered in some spray foam and a top coat of asphalt put on top like any other patch... I don't know that the asphalt would stick to the slick steel rails.

The radio commentator on 1010am was basically of the mindset that this was the cyclists fault for not wearing a helmet and not being familiar with streetcar tracks so it was totally his fault. I'm sure you can imagine what I think of this opinion but mostly it wouldn't be fit for print.

I can't even imagine a similar trap for cars being left in the road for 30 years though. Rails running near parallel are the perfect bicycle traps and it's negligent to leave them in roads they won't ever be used on again.


I agree with Clasher: I can't imagine a situation where a trap big enough to do major damage to a motor vehicle would be allowed to remain on a road for 30 days, let alone 30 years. And I agree with JC: it's oddball cases like this that show the benefits of bicycle helmets, but this particular circumstance shouldn't have been allowed to happen. I wonder if part of the problem is that we cyclists don't pass out complaints to the right people?


The rail crossing on Weber Street near Louisa is on a curve, at 45 degrees as well. If you take the lane, it's pretty easy to cross at 90, but it means taking the entire lane on a semi-blind curve.

And just south of the bad rail crossing on the Iron Horse Trail, there's another one on Mill Street. That one's less of a problem for cyclists, though, since the Iron Horse is right there and parallel, I doubt there are many cyclists who opt to ride down that street.


The track situation on the Iron Horse trail at Victoria Park is being rectified this summer.The trail is being reconfigured so you have to cross at a 90 degree angle.


Thanks, Andre! That's great news!


Cyclists don't pay for a license there for we have no money going to the roads therefore making the road comfortable for cyclist won't be high on the list of repairs.


Hang on a second here. Maybe I'm not up to par on this story, but didn't it say when paramedics arrived the cyclist was in cardiac arrest? Couldn't it be possible the cardiac arrest occurred while the individual was cycling causing his fall? He may have jammed his wheel in the track, fallen and hit his head, but the underlying cause of this could be a cardiac arrest, could it not?


I found another news story on this that said the cause of death had yet to be determined and shopping bags were found near the bicycle indicating the cyclists was carrying his bags by his hands with his hands on the handlebars yet the police used the attention to "...to impress upon the public the need to be wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle..."
If he died because of a heart attack and fell because he was carrying bags on his handlebars, isn't garnering attention to helmets doing a disservice to the community?


Really JJ? Roads are not paid for by license fees but out of local property tax bases (predominantly) which everyone contributes to whether you own or rent your property.

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Bill Bean

  • North America is eventually going to figure out that, for all the right reasons, we need more bicycles on our roads. Dust off your bicycle and go cycling. And if the gas-burning dinosaurs start to crowd you, it's your road and you paid for it. Take the lane for yourself.

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