Toronto intersection where cyclist Doug Crosbie died will get safety makeover

By David Nickle, Toronto.com
September 16, 2019

Turn restrictions, planter-box barriers and narrower lanes are all part of a suite of changes on tap to the Leslieville intersection where in 2018 Toronto cyclist Doug Crosbie was killed by a turning truck.

“I believe it’s a great solution,” said LJ Savage, one of a group of friends of Crosbie who helped consult with city staff on the changes to the intersection. “It doesn’t bring Doug back but it will make it safer for other people.”

Most of the changes to the intersection of Dundas Street East and Jones Avenue will be going ahead without a need for Toronto Council’s approval – but on Sept. 16, the Toronto and East York Community Council recommended the approval of a restriction of right turns on a red light.

“Council has to approve that,” said local Ward 14 (Toronto Danforth) Coun. Paula Fletcher following the vote at community council. “But the rest of this has been done by staff.”

The relatively narrow intersection will see numerous changes designed to prevent the kind of mishap that left the 54-year-old cyclist dead on his way to work May 16, 2018.

Crosbie had been cycling westbound, and was struck by a westbound truck turning right, across the bike lane.

Fletcher had put a motion through Toronto Council in 2018 to look at turning the intersection into a so-called “Dutch” intersection, that would see four islands created at intersections to prevent cars from entering into the bike lane.

That plan proved to be impossible because of the relatively narrow roadways, but staff have implemented several changes.

Under the new plan, the city will install planters or flexible bollards between the cycle lane and traffic on Dundas, and vehicles will have to stop further back than the edge of the intersection.

Traffic lanes will be narrowed and the bike lanes will be widened, and there will be some changes to TTC bus stop locations on Jones Avenue.

The right-turn restrictions will go into place if and when council approves the change.

Fletcher said the changes at Jones and Dundas could inform other improvements to cycling safety in the east end.

“I would like to see if there’s ways of making these lanes even better,” she said. “What I have seen in my time representing the community is that the intersections are where the flashpoints are for cyclists.”

Savage agreed that the plan at Jones and Dundas should be a blueprint.

“If those changes had been made last year there was no way that truck could have possibly hit Doug,” he said.

Fletcher said she’s looking next at the intersection of Carlaw Avenue and Dundas, and also at the intersections along the cycle track on Lakeshore Boulevard.

“There have been a lot of crashes there – they are unsafe intersections,” she said.