News / Ottawa

“Enough is enough”: Rally calls for biking upgrades following cyclist's death

Over 100 people gathered outside City Hall Thursday for an impromptu rally just hours after a 24-year-old cyclist was killed.

A crowd of over 100 people gathered at City Hall at noon Thursday to hear councillors and cycling advocates address infrastructure.

Haley Ritchie/Metro

A crowd of over 100 people gathered at City Hall at noon Thursday to hear councillors and cycling advocates address infrastructure.

Over 100 people gathered outside City Hall Thursday for an impromptu rally just hours after a 24-year-old cyclist was hit and killed by a dump truck at the intersection of Laurier Avenue and Lyon Street.

“I know at least a dozen people who could have been on the Laurier bike lane at that time this morning, as many residents do," said Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney. "It was disbelief and sadness and frustration and anger all together.” 

“We have to accept that we’re human, and human error will happen and mistakes will happen. We have to design our roads so that can be the case,” she said.

McKenney, Kitchissippi Coun. Jeff Leiper and River Coun. Riley Brockington led the crowd for a moment of silence and speeches, which were punctuated by bike bells, cheers of “shame” and “enough is enough.”

Leiper reminded the crowd that municipal budget talks are upcoming and encouraged people to reach out to their city councillors to make sure bike-friendly infrastructure is a priority. Leiper suggested ending right turns on Laurier Street or installing separate lights for pedestrians and cyclists as possible improvements.

Citizens for Safe Cycling advocate Heather Shearer addressed the crowd and also stressed the political message, asking cyclists to put pressure on city council.

“Vulnerable road users need to be protected, and sometimes that’s going to involve tough choices,” she said.

“That will take money for infrastructure, that will take political will to maybe change some bylaws. There’s a lot that can be done, and lives can be saved if members of Ottawa’s city council are willing to step up and do the right thing,” she said.

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