Memorial ride for Halifax cyclist killed in crash calls for changes to infrastructure, education

HALIFAX – Members of Halifax’s cycling community gathered Saturday to remember one of their own and call attention to safety issues cyclists face every day.

Local artist Loresa Makonin was killed on Oct. 7, after her bike collided with a propane truck at the intersection of Herring Cove and Purcells Cove Roads.

No charges were laid in the incident because Halifax Regional Police determined the driver of the propane truck made a lawful right-hand turn before the collision.

On Saturday, some two dozen cyclists took part in a memorial — tracing Makonin’s last ride.

READ MORE: No charges to be laid after fatal cyclist/truck collision

“It shows that people are worried about the cycling and there is a bike culture in the city and it needs to be addressed and recognized,” said Louise Nelson, who is a relative of Makonin’s.

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The event was organized by Bicycle Nova Scotia and the Halifax Cycling Coalition, two groups that have long fought for better infrastructure in the city.

The city is making inroads: a dedicated bike lane was recently installed along Hollis Street downtown and the city will soon have its first protected bike lane on Rainnie Drive as part of a pilot project.

“Protected bike lanes would make a huge difference,” said Blair Barrington with the Halifax Cycling Coalition.

“As well, [thing like] side guards on trucks. And there are a number of smaller changes that can be made to traffic flow and just how we orient our cities.”

Bicycle Nova Scotia co-president lola doucet said the group had started a conversation with the province’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal over the summer to look at changes to this particular stretch of Herring Cove Road.

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“One of the things I had said was, “we need to do this before someone’s killed” and then someone’s killed. So, it’s sad,” doucet said.

“People shouldn’t be killed on their way to work. It’s just not right so we need to make it a safer place. And that’s my concern: if we don’t do something, it will continue happening.”

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