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Toronto cyclists question city’s new speed bumps after collision sends rider to hospital

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A Toronto cyclist and bike mechanic, well known in Toronto’s cycling community, is recovering after suffering serious injuries during a crash last week.

Eli Cruz Lopez was riding with friends when he said he hit a new speed bump at the corner of Bloor Street West and Ellis Park Road.

“I got a broken rib, it’s hard to sleep, to lay down on the bed. It hurts a lot … I have two cracks in the pelvis,” he said.

Since the accident, many cyclists have asked why the speed bump was installed in the first place.

In fact, it is one of six placed along Bloor Street West from Concord Avenue to Ellis Park Road in August.

“Good intentions, especially in this case, have led to bad results,” said biking lawyer and cycling advocate Dave Shellnutt.

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He said anytime changes are made to road infrastructure, there should be public education and awareness campaigns.

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In addition, Shellnutt is calling for consistency across intersections and neighbourhoods so that cyclists know what to expect.

“You have a speed bump here and then on University (Avenue) at different intersections there you have bollards up, on the Danforth you have paint on the ground to denote turns and bike lanes … whoever is making these decisions at the city, we’ve got to first have leadership and we’ve got to have consistency,” he said.

According to the City of Toronto, the speed bumps were placed at intersections where “there has been feedback on conflicts between people cycling and turning vehicles” in an effort to “minimize cyclists’ exposure to conflicts with turning vehicles, reduce vehicle speeds and conflict points, communicate right-of-way priority and provide adequate sight distance.”

A spokesperson for the City told Global News in a statement that video data and analysis was used to inform the designs and after installation, video data was collected and is currently being analyzed.

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“Staff are currently reviewing the data, and will consider removing the speed hump if the data does not support the main purpose of creating a safer intersection for all users.”

Lopez said doctors told him his recovery would take four to six weeks.

His friends launched a GoFundMe campaign and have raised more than $20,000 to help support him.

“I can’t thank enough to all the cycling community and all my friends for the huge support and generosity it’s unbelievable, it touched my heart,” said Lopez.

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