A die-in at City Hall represents the death of cyclists and pedestrians in the streets following the 8th annual Ride of Silence in Toronto.
Toronto Ride of Silence 2017
by Jun Nogami
The Ride of Silence commemorates those whose have been killed while riding their bicycles. These rides now take place worldwide on the third Wednesday in May, at 7 p.m. local time. The first Ride of Silence was held in Texas in 2003, making this year the 15th such ride to take place.
Last night was the 8th ride in Toronto. Almost 50 people showed up on a balmy summer-like evening. Here is part of the crowd gathered at Bloor and Spadina.
Joey Schwartz from the Toronto Bicycling Network leads us off on Bloor. Unlike last year, this time we have bike lanes on this stretch of the ride.
All too soon, the bike lanes are gone, and we have to mix it up with car traffic.
Arriving at the Peace Garden in Nathan Phillips Square, below.
At the Peace Garden, the names of Toronto cyclists who have died since 2010 were read out. One other person mentioned two competitive cyclists who also died during this period: Jocelyn Lovell, who passed away last year of injuries in 1983 that left him a quadriplegic for more than 30 years, and Greg Stobbart, who was killed in 2006 while on a training ride. There was a minute of silence in memory of all these riders.
Then Patrick Brown (centre, below) of Bike Law Canada mentioned that he had met yesterday with the Minister of Transportation about the issue of vulnerable road user legislation, and that some changes were promised, although no specifics were offered.
Several representatives from Walk Toronto and Friends and Families for Safe Streets rode with us.
It was noted that although there have been no cyclist fatalities in Toronto so far in 2017, 12 pedestrians have already died, putting us on a pace to equal last year’s total. Since there were roughly 50 people present, we decided to take a picture of a mini “die-in” to give a graphic representation of how many people die in road collisions in a typical year in Toronto. Toronto held it's first ever mass die-in at City Hall two years ago.
Thanks to everyone who rode with us tonight.
Update: Last night a man was hit near Kensington Market while riding his bike. Our thoughts are with him and we hope he recovers soon.
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