Dear City of Ottawa: It is time to do something about the unsafe Laurier Avenue bike lanes.
I am very grateful that I got a flat tire this morning and had to abandon my bike and take the bus because 8:00 is the time that I would be coming down the Laurier bike lane to work.It is with great sadness that I heard that a young woman riding her bike this morning was killed by a dump truck. I believe she was in the bike lane on Laurier Avenue and the truck was turning right off of Laurier. From personal experience I have had trucks and cars turn right without looking to see if anyone is in the bike lane and I have had to slam on the brakes so I don’t get injured. I find the Laurier bike lanes very unsafe between cars and trucks turning right without looking, pedestrians jaywalking and not looking to see if there is a bike coming and people opening their car doors without looking. In the evenings the bike lane is always blocked because, even though there is no room to move forward, impatient drivers turn right and have to stop in the intersection. I have not seen one police car or any police presence on Laurier Avenue all summer except when they are standing around chatting while guarding construction workers. How hard would it be to put a couple of police officers on the busiest corners of Laurier for a week or so and have them write a bunch of tickets to get the point across that drivers need to be observant and considerate and lawful? I will also acknowledge that there are a handful of stupid bikers who run through red lights and do unsafe lane changes but that doesn’t mean that drivers shouldn’t be careful because is it really worth living with the guilt for the rest of your life that you killed someone because you were in a hurry?