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Road signs aim to make Wellington West safe for cyclists

CBC News: Road signs aim to make Wellington West safe for cyclists

Sep 10, 2012 

The city is taking steps to make cycling safer in Hintonburg and encourage motorists and bikes to share the road.

Large outdoor signs promoting safe cycling have been installed along sidewalks, and white cycling sharrows have been painted on the road along Wellington Street West.

Jessie Jarjour, who works at Cyclelogic in Hintonburg, said while the traffic on Wellington West isn't bad, the lanes are narrow. He said the sharrows are an improvement.

"I really like how far they've come into the lane, so it's not just like they are pushing you off to the side," said Jarjour.

Some of the signs along the street give information about how cyclists can avoid being hit by people opening the doors of parked cars along the side of the road.

The signs tell cyclists to leave at least one metre of space between them and parked cars, and it warns motorists to check behind them and open their car doors slowly.

'Dooring' can be fatal

Danielle Naçu was killed when she was "doored" along Queen Street in October last year and pushed into the path of a car coming behind her.

Cyclist Mark Fernandez said the effort to make Hintonburg more friendly to cyclists may entice him to use Wellington Street on his morning commute.

"Things like that can really make an impact," said Fernandez, who has taken to back roads to avoid the congestion of Wellington.

"It can happen in a split second like that, you gotta be careful," he said.

Steve Adam, who worked as a driving instructor in the area, said he's not sure paint on the road will make a difference to cyclist safety. He said cyclists need to be more consistent and better educated on the rules of the road to be safer.

"Sometimes they go on the sidewalk, sometimes they go on the road. What can we do?" said Adam.