News / Toronto

Death of cyclist in Little Italy spurs call for better road safety

A ghost bike was parked at College and Ossington on Wednesday to memorialize a man killed there last week.

The spot on College Street near Ossington where a man was struck and killed on Dec. 20 is now home to a ghost bike.

Alan Wayne Scott / Facebook

The spot on College Street near Ossington where a man was struck and killed on Dec. 20 is now home to a ghost bike.

Calling Toronto's efforts "pitiful," cyclists who gathered Wednesday in memory of a man recently killed on a Little Italy street say more must be done to prevent similar deaths.

“These (deaths) are uncalled for. They’re unnecessary," ride co-organizer Joey Schwartz told Metro.

About 25 people biked together in frigid temperatures to the site at College and Ossington, parking a ghost bike to memorialize the man identified by the group as 45-year-old Daryl Craig. (Police would not confirm the victim's identity, and family could not be reached for comment.)

Though none that gathered knew the man personally, according to Schwartz, the death hit close to home.

“It was quite emotional. A lot of us ride that route quite often, actually. In fact, many people, that’s their daily route," said Schwartz, a member of Advocacy and Respect for Cyclists. “It could have been us. Could have been any one of us."

For Schwartz, it's another painful reminder that the city is not doing enough to protect vulnerable road users. He called Toronto's efforts to protect vulnerable road users "pitiful" and accused the city of not taking Vision Zero efforts "very seriously," particularly when compared to the likes of New York City.

According to numbers compiled by Torstar News Service, at least 42 pedestrians and four cyclists were killed on public and private property from Jan. 1 to Dec. 22 this year.

The stretch of College Street where the man was killed is a known trouble spot, Schwartz said, noting the painted bike lane ends just 800 metres east of the site, giving way to sharrows, which he says "don't really mean anything."

“This is one of the areas where if they had prioritized the street to be friendly to all users, to be a complete street, I have a good feeling that Daryl would still be with us today.”

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