Monday, June 1, 2009

Drain cramp: Pair of sunken grates menacing Dupont cyclists

Jun 01, 2009 04:30 AM
Comments on this story (4) Jack Lakey STAFF REPORTER - Toronto Star

A sunken catch basin and its lowdown accomplice are operating as a tag team to body-slam Dupont St. cyclists.
Toronto has ambitious plans to make cycling a more viable way to get around, with city council approving a proposal last week to reduce Jarvis St. traffic by one lane to accommodate bike lanes.
Creating dedicated lanes is worthwhile, but our mean streets still have plenty of perils for two-wheelers, often at curbside where the lanes are located.
Pietro Taleporos emailed us photos of a sunken storm-sewer grate on the north side of Dupont, just west of Edwin Ave., with a utility cover next to it that caught the wheel of his 14-year-old son's bicycle and sent him sprawling.
"He was all bruised and scraped down one side, but at least he didn't break any bones," Taleporos said on the phone yesterday, adding the teen was lucky he wasn't hit by a car that passed just as he went down.
We went there and found the sewer grate and utility cover side-by-side, extending halfway into the curb lane on Dupont, which is often choked with traffic due to nearby Junction Triangle construction. A cyclist has no way to avoid the deadly duo without veering into the flow of bigger, faster vehicles. Yikes.
The sunken grate and cover have created a hard lip to the pavement that any westbound cyclist has to risk life and limb navigating before reaching the normal road surface.
STATUS: Toronto Water is responsible for catch basins and most utility covers. Catherine Pitt, who deals with media for the department, told us she'd make sure the right people were alerted to the problem.
Taleporos then contacted us again to say a small cone and a much larger, orange-and-black traffic pylon were placed over the rough patch the day after we talked to Pitt – which at least gives cyclists a warning. We'll let you know when a permanent fix is done.

1 comment:

  1. This is one of those hazzards for cyclists that drivers of motor vehicles don't see. So the driver will only see the cyclist swerve in front of them, leading to the normal tirade against cyclists.
    Drivers need to be aware that some cyclists aren't trying to give them grief and there may be good reason for their movements. Remember to be prepared for all road users movements...there just might be a very good reason for them!
    You wouldn't run over a massive pot hole in your car on purpose would??