In Ontario, and Toronto specifically, shared road space has become an ongoing issue. A staggering 93 pedestrians and cyclist casualties have been reported in Toronto over the past two years. With cycling becoming one of the fastest growing modes of transportation in Toronto, there is an increasing need for these vulnerable road users to feel safe and in harmony with other road users. We wanted to do our part to help, so we dug into some of the issues facing the Toronto cycling community.
Did you know that one of the most common reasons drivers give after colliding with a cyclist is, “I just didn’t see them”? This is especially compounded in dark or grey weather conditions, which are proven to have a negative impact on a driver’s state of mind and reduce overall road performance. Add congested and hectic urban road conditions to the mix, and you have a formula for stressful and potentially dangerous interactions between drivers and cyclists.
Given that visibility is such an important factor for cyclists and drivers alike, we decided to take action to bring this issue to light.
Through an event called, “Light Up The Night,” we partnered with Switchback Cyclery, a non-profit organization whose goal is to develop an inclusive and bike-friendly community within Toronto, and a network of influential cycling enthusiasts for a night ride. Driving awareness to the importance of visibility, we affixed brightly coloured lights to the wheels of their bike to literally light up the night.