The bikeway on O'Connor Street officially opened Tuesday, hours before a cyclist was struck by a vehicle on the lane. JEAN LEVAC / POSTMEDIA NEWS
Jon Willing, Ottawa Sun
It wasn’t the way the city wanted to celebrate a new bikeway on O’Connor Street.
“With great smiles and ringing bells, we went out (Tuesday) and officially opened it. Believe me, when I listened to the evening news and heard there had already been an accident, nothing could have hurt more than that,” Capital Coun. David Chernushenko said Wednesday.
According to police, a driver making a left turn at Waverley and O’Connor streets struck a cyclist on the bikeway. Paramedics said the cyclist, a 44-year-old man, was transported to hospital with shoulder and rib pain. The 71-year-old woman driving the vehicle was charged with failing to yield to traffic under the Highway Traffic Act.
Earlier in the day, the city cut a ribbon opening the bi-directional bikeway on the one-way O’Connor Street.
Chernushenko said he understands that drivers approaching O’Connor Street wouldn’t be aware about cyclists travelling in the opposite direction of vehicles.
“A driver approaching on a one-way street to another one-way street has for days or maybe decades not expected a user to be coming from the other direction,” Chernushenko said. “The fact a cyclist is now coming from another direction is something we have to make clearer to the driver for all of those people who don’t anticipate that.”
Somerset Coun. Catherine McKenney was scheduled to meet with city staff Wednesday afternoon to discuss the collision.
“We have to look at what occurred and what we do to prevent that again,” McKenney said.
Mayor Jim Watson said one crash doesn’t call for a complete re-think of the new infrastructure.