Driver and cyclist fight caught on video

UPDATE: a news release came across our desks just a moment ago: the driver is a police officer! (albeit, an officer on leave). “On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, an off−duty Toronto Police Service officer was charged with Assault Causing Bodily Harm. Constable Darius Tierman, 44, with 21 years’ service, has been on leave since October 2004….On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at 11:16 a.m., the driver turned himself in to police at 52 Division. Constable Darius Tierman was scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at 2 p.m.”

– – – – – – – –

Remember when photoblogger Adam Krawesky caught a fight between a driver and cyclist in Kenington last year? Well, students doing an assignment about CCTV cameras filmed a fight between and driver and cyclist today. CP24 picked up the story. Also see the unedited video.

The Grade 12 students caught a road rage incident between a driver and a cyclist on tape, and could play a key rule in the meting out of justice after turning their evidence over to police.

The kids’ mini-cam was pointed at the scene near Queen and Bay when the driver on four wheels got into a dispute with a cyclist on two. As the students watched in disbelief, they saw the motorist get out of his still idling car, approach the cyclist and punch him boldly in the face. He pushed the stunned bike owner onto the sidewalk where the assault appeared to continue for several more moments.

Apparently the driver was enraged that the cyclist, who lost a tooth in the attack, had stopped at a yellow light and blocked him from going through.


  1. This scares me more than anything because of how often I do that. If I’m first at an intersection, I take the lane because I don’t want to be squeezed against the curb or have someone make a right turn around me. Likewise, I get right behind a car when I’m second arriving at an intersection rather than trying to string my way along the curb. The response is always mixed, with some drivers being patient and realizing they’d have to wait if it were another car in front of them regardless of their own need to turn right or be first at the green light, and others yelling obscenities and and honking continuously at me. Someone once abandoned their right turn and followed me along the road just to yell obscenities at me.

    It is hard not to want to do something stupid in those moments.

    I don’t understand how people can get to that point, though… at a movie the other day, after my friend shushed two people behind him who were incessantly talking they both approached him as our group of friends sat and talked after the movie, dumped their popcorn, candy and drinks on him as retaliation for, as they put it, “telling us to shut up.” I’m still in complete awe of that moment.

    I wonder if it’s people getting angry at themselves because they know they are in the wrong… but that they take it out on the closest person!

  2. Presumably, there will be charges, but likely only because of the video. Otherwise, the cynical side of me says the cyclist would have had charges against him for some excuse, like cycling.
    With the cariminality, will the driver lose his licence for years? or any period of time? Why should he still be driving anywhere?

  3. It seems like the cop didn’t believe the cyclist when he told him what happened. Here is a clear example of how biased the cops are in favour of drivers. I hope the guy gets his ass sued, looses his driver’s licence and spends a few months in jail, but there will not be any repercussions to this guy, cars and drivers are the supreme rulers in our streets. What a douchebag…

  4. Wow. Something about cars really makes a lot of people in this city turn into assholes. Why is there no such thing as ‘walking rage’? Maybe because a car conditions people to think they should get somewhere really fast and that they’re in control. When something outside of their control slows them down, they’re not happy. With walking, you’re pretty much resigned that it’s going to take a while to get somewhere.

    People need to realize that rushing for the yellow light or bobbing in and out of lanes to pass is only going to save them a few minutes a day, at the price of endangering those around them, either through acts of rage like this, or the accidents that result.

  5. I think cyclist should organize and shut down the city in protest. Lets bike around King, Bloor, Spadina, Queen in mass during rush hour and shut down the goddamn city in solidarity to this guy and all the cyclist who have been victimized and killed in our streets for the benefit of cars.

  6. Anyone who has walked through Union Station and up Yonge or Bay during rush hour has experienced “pedestrian rage”. And many, if not most, pedestrians have been on the receiving end of “cyclist” rage. That being said, the effects of these rage incidents increase with the size and speed of the conveyance, and this ass if the perfect example of why motorists cannot give in to their rage at any time, under any circumstances.

    By the way, police are biased against motorists, not cyclists. They always assign blame to the owner of the larger, faster vehicle unless there is clear evidence otherwise. And even then, police send copies of their reports to the motorist’s insurance company, giving them grounds to raise the motorist’s rates to an astronomical degree.

    I would like to see this guy lose his licence. More likely, he’ll simply be changed with assault causing bodily harm. But maybe the officer will see his way clear to notify his insurer…

  7. Why did the cyclist lift his bike so high in the air? It almost looked like he was going to be aggressive with it, just before he got popped in the face by the insane motorist. These guys have issues.

  8. This guy’s rage must boil over into all aspects of his life though. His poor wife/husband, his poor kids. The poor worker at his Tim Hortons. Etc.

  9. hey, carlos. i’m in. my little brother got hit sidelong by an illegally left-turning car the other day. though he ended up on the hood, the offending motorist still scarpered off.
    fuck cars.

  10. “This guy’s rage must boil over into all aspects of his life though. His poor wife/husband, his poor kids. The poor worker at his Tim Hortons. Etc.”

    Some guys (and more women than you’d think) have just too much rage. But I can’t help imagining that a lot of these incidents are the result of people with bottled-up rage finally popping their cork.

    I guess it could be worse; he could have kept a cork in it until the day he decides to bring a gun in to work.

  11. Jonna, let’s see if we can get something going here. Maybe we can get the next critical mass bike ride to be a catalyst for something major to happen.

  12. To be honest, I don’t like how this article was phrased. I’m not a fan of pinning cyclists vs motorists and vice versa. The problems in this city are a matter of infrastructure. It’s not drivers fault that their is a lack of infrastructure for cyclists and vice versa. I drive a car and ride a bike. In both situations I act responsibly I think that’s a testament to my character more than labels I should be smacked with do to my chosen transportation method. I take the street car to work and am jam packed so tight that I cant move, and from that vantage point I watch people on motorcycles drive between car lanes and make that loud noise.

    we need a better system, one that accommodates everyone (if that’s possible) but that wont stop things like this from happening, for as long as we have fists we will continue to punch each others teeth out.

  13. Carlos and Jonna – How about, at the very least, shutting down Queen Street for transit and bikes and peds ONLY on SMOG days??? Looks like we’re gonna have lots of opps for the next five months.

    Infrastructure (and education) IS the issue, sure, but I’m starting to think the political will won’t come until we demand it – loudly.

    Remember this story:

    It had a funny title “Foreign Auntie challenges rule-breaking vehicle.” This offendingmotorist had to change his home phone number because of the public outcry against him! (I first saw the story on bikelanediary, of course…)

  14. Anyone have ideas about how we as cyclists can do something meaningful on smog days to change how things are in this city?

    I don’t mean just inconveniencing drivers… I mean getting politicians to stop saying their going to “green” toronto and actually act on their promises.

    Perhaps co-ordinate something where we get cyclists to congregate on certain streets on smog days? Try and get everyone coming from the east to take Queen East, People from the west to take Queen West, and people from the North taking Yonge?

    The logistics are mind-boggling, but think of huge groups of cyclists riding together, creating NO pollution. 🙂

  15. Where we can have some impact is getting the TTC to promote themselves as a smog day alternative. They have to use their space on TTC buses and streetcars to promote it so drivers will see it.
    While doing something bike related is good, making cycling traffic that blocks cars will make cars drive at less-gas efficient speeds which will only hurt *all* of us.

    Maybe little things like t-shirts for cyclists — on the back it says something like “I’m fighting smog today”.

  16. Oh, nice. Let’s blame the victim again.
    The driver is the only one with ‘issues’.

  17. Sue: I would not call it pedestrian rage or cyclist rage unless they start being abusive. Generally a lot of people act like assholes, but that does not make it ‘rage.’

    I think he should be stripped of his rights to drive permanently. Nothing bothers me more than motorists who drive around like they are in charge, dealing out ‘justice’ against those who are ‘in the way.’ Sociopaths.

  18. Something big at Critical Mass is a good idea, but it is later in the day than rush hour, and too far away. We should normalise bicycle traffic DURING rush hour to draw attention to how common such an incident is to all of us, though thankfully more often less explosive.

    Can takethetooker or another group get word out for something organized for this Friday, and out on all the local blogs and sites? Maybe 530 at Yonge and Bloor. Lets make this weekly throughout the summer, and start it during rush hour!

    In the meantime, I think I may take to carrying bear-spray in my bottle cage.

  19. “They always assign blame to the owner of the larger, faster vehicle unless there is clear evidence otherwise.”

    Sue, I’ve got to disagree with you here – strongly.

    I’ve been riding & racing bikes for 10 years and I’ve seen a number of bike/car collisions and that just hasn’t been the case. I was personally run down while on a training ride and the officer wouldn’t believe my story even though it was the only one he got at the scene (the car left the scene).

    I don’t expect an officer to automatically believe either a driver or cyclist, but to say they always believe the cyclist is in the right without clear evidence otherwise is just laughable to anyone who has ridden in this city.

  20. I think cyclists should definitely make a stand over this incident.

    I can’t think of a better piece of evidence that shows how little respect law abiding cyclists get on the road from some motorists.

    Obviously this is quite an exaggerated case but what about all of the cyclist that are seriously hurt, maimed or killed by motorists who are driving irresponsibly or aggressively? In many ways these incidents are much worse but just don’t appear to be as dramatic!

    Most of these incidents including the one caught on tape have the same root issue. Motorists do not treat cyclists as if they have a rightful place on the road.

    We definitely need to call attention to this and toprotest.
    Cycling in a large group during the intersection is a great idea and I would also suggest a show of solidarity and protest when this asshole goes to court each and every time.
    We can’t let the media and public forget how serious incidents like this really are!

    How can we coordinate this?

  21. Matt, I like your idea about the t-shirts, but have to disagree about the “making cycling traffic that blocks cars will make cars drive at less-gas efficient speeds which will only hurt all of us” comment.

    Cyclists never block traffic – they actually ARE traffic. We can ride down the middle of a traffic lane, according to the Highway Traffic Act (which states that we should ride to the right “as much as is practical”), to ensure we are safe and avoiding hazards (glass, grates, wood, and all the other crap that collects there).

    If we promote the idea that drivers, because they are in vehicles bigger and heavier and potentially faster than bikes, have precedence over us in getting to where we’re all going, we’d be promoting the idea that anyone who isn’t in a car is a second-class citizen when it comes to transportation.

    Incidentally, I believe the maximum fuel efficiency for most cars is at about the 80-90 kmh range.. and I doubt anyone (other than drivers) wants cars going that fast through our streets.

  22. WOW! I just read that article in the Post. That guy from the Post is a nutbar (which is no surprise). He has children and doesn’t even realize cyclists are contributing to the future of his kids. People are so blind. He was right about cyclist constantly violating the rules of the road, but what does he expect? It is a jungle out there and it would be impossible to bike in Toronto if you weren’t minimally street smart. If you have to go up a one way street to avoid a busy street then do it, there is no need to come to a complete stop as a cyclist because of a thing called momentum, it is easier to stop a bike than a car in case of emergency and it is easier for a cyclist to keep a bike’s momentum than to come to a complete stop and start pedaling again. I have to say that I do not like it when fellow cyclist pass stopped streetcars or go through red lights, but our infrastructure is not made for cycling, so you must improvise.

    I would be up for a Critical Mass bike ride every week in the summer during rush hour. We could do it until we get our ENTIRE promised bike infrastructure. Why are people so afraid to offend drivers? We are entitled to the road just like them, so we should be able to bike around whenever we please in a safe hassle free way.

  23. Joe >> I know bike ARE traffic, but you *would* be blocking cars, just like cars block cyclists. I know the semantic game of this and I chose my word carefully (i said bike traffic blocking cars, not bikes blocking traffic). I know your argument and I make it all the time.

    But impeding car traffic on a smog day is no good for anyone, you have to agree with that. My suggestion is not to antagonize drivers, or to create more smog by blocking cars to drive at 25km/hr. Use other techniques (the t-shirt idea) and to have the TTC become a major promoter of alternative transport on smog days.

  24. I’m not afraid to offend drivers.

    I would also be up for a CM style ride during rush hour every week.
    530 at Queen and Yonge – one group east, one group west?

    We would need signs that say ‘stop driving today is a smog day’ (which I will have on a T-shirt, yes, cute but not entirely effective at, ahem, clearing the air.)

    Cars burn more gas going fast than they do going slow…but it is the worst when they are going 0 mph and just idling. I think *constant* speed is key, as opposed to stopping and starting, not that I’m an engineer or anything, just grew up in the country with a bunch of motorhead mechanic types around.

    So let’s be real here: the cars all sitting there idling in the traffic jams anyway – the idea that bikes would be slowing them down is ludicrous. By that argument we should take all the streetcars off the road since they are the ones that are really slowing down cars.

    I do agree that the transit has to promote itself more as the smog day alternative – but why can’t the TTC work with cyclists too – to close down Queen to bikes and TTC only?

    Hmm maybe I’ll ask…

  25. “Sue: I would not call it pedestrian rage or cyclist rage unless they start being abusive. Generally a lot of people act like assholes, but that does not make it ‘rage.’”

    By “rage” I was referring to incidents of shoving, spitting, hitting one another with bags, and pushing one another down escalators and stairs. In the case of cyclists, I included sideswiping and running over pedestrians’ feet, and charging crowds on the sidewalk (whether you actUally hit someone or not).

    ‘…but to say they always believe the cyclist is in the right without clear evidence otherwise is just laughable…”

    You’re right, I shouldn’t have written “always”. But I maintain that there is a bias against the motorist, most especially when the cyclist is injured. Then the reaction is more likely “what kind of idiot (motorist) does this” than “damn fool (cyclist) should look where he’s going.”

    “By the time that guy was done punching the cyclist, he probably missed a few green lights.”

    If you look at the unedited footage at CityTV’s site (In the Raw section), you’ll see that he missed at least one green light before he started hitting the cyclist.

    Still doesn’t excuse him, though.

  26. Matt – I didn’t read how you phrased things carefully enough… sorry. 🙂

    A good point has been made since though… cars do a really good job of blocking up traffic all on their own, even on streets witout bikelanes or streetcars (take Yonge anywhere downtown at just about any time of day), so they’ll be going slow no matter what.

    The Queen St. for streetcars and cyclists only idea is great… especially if the TTC gets on board… Giambrone and Mihevc may even go for it. Cars have many other east-west streets to get around on Fridays. 🙂

  27. Ryan Marr’s comment is bang on. With a lack of space, different types of vehicles are competing in such a way that makes commuting very dangerous for everyone. Bikes, cars, and pedestrians need to be separated; a painted line down one side of the road just doesn’t cut it.

  28. Does anyone know if Toronto has ever tried making raised sidewalks especially for bikes? There’s an odd tier of sidewalk in the eastern Beaches area that is lower than the regular sidewalk, but higher than the road, and is wide enough for bike use. It only continues for a number of blocks though, and is occupied by trash cans, electrical poles, etc. Why is it there? It reminds me of the bike sidewalks in Europe.

  29. Is it this incident?

    Broadcast time: 15:25
    Wednesday, May 9, 2007
    Public Information
    On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, an off−duty Toronto Police Service officer was charged with
    Assault Causing Bodily Harm.
    Constable Darius Tierman, 44, with 21 years’ service, has been on leave since October 2004.
    On Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at approximately 9:50 a.m., police received a call for an assault in
    the Queen Street West/Bay Street area.
    Officers attended and located a 45−year−old cyclist showing obvious signs of injury.
    It is alleged that:
    − the cyclist was riding his bike west along Queen Street, and stopped for an amber traffic
    light at Bay Street,
    − the driver, travelling west on Queen Street West, became upset at the cyclist for not
    continuing through the intersection and began honking his horn and shouting profanities,
    − the driver then got out of his car and tried to grab the cyclist’s bicycle and began assaulting
    the cyclist,
    − the driver got into his car and drove away.
    On Wednesday, May 9, 2007, at 11:16 a.m., the driver turned himself in to police at 52
    Constable Darius Tierman was scheduled to appear in court at Old City Hall, on Wednesday,
    May 9, 2007, at 2 p.m.
    Constable Wendy Drummond, Public Information, for Superintendent Chris White,
    Professional Standards

  30. Re: National Post article:

    man, is Jacob Richler stupid! “$2,000 or $3,000 I cough up each year to cover my parking fines.” Guess he can afford it. I spent much less on my Lemond.

    “Cyclists. One should not hate them just because they are the righteous vegans of the road, freeloaders who use roads built on the hard-working backs of motorists… Instead, we should tax them.” Actually, we should tax motorists properly at the rate of damage their cars do infrastructure, the environment, not to mention wasted real estate.

    We cannot make such twits agree, but we can jam up their roads so badly they want us to get roads of our own.

  31. Gloria, I can’t think of something that I would hate more. Makes it more difficult to navigate, and hazardous. Putting any special bike area next to the regular roadway that has intersections also puts bikes in the way of right turning traffic. That’s why most side of the road bike paths have signs saying “Cyclists must dismount” at intersections. How inefficient.

    As for the “blocking” other vehicles argument, I have biked down King Street early on a Sunday morning (no traffic) and seen the same car at every light. Yeah they get to the light faster but the traffic lights are the bottleneck so its no big deal for a car to be going at a constant 20-30 rather than a speed up to 50 slow down again idea.

    I don’t believe that bikes and cars are incompatible sharing city road space at city speeds. BUT and this is a big BUT we need to eliminate aggressive driving. General acceptance that bikes belong as vehicles by the majority of the population would go a long way to making sharing more pleasant – and respect to change lanes to pass when appropriate etc.

  32. Wow, this story gets better and better (or worse and worse… it’s a toss-up). The driver is a cop (one on suspension).

    It’s best just to ignore Jacob Richler – he’s always seemed to have some beef against cyclists… and always dumb comments – the roads downtown were built WAYYY before cars (how did people get around before cars were invented, Jacob?) and are maintained using municipal tax dollars – paid by EVERYONE who owns or rents (via landlords) in Toronto – not just drivers.

  33. i’ve been walking and riding frequently on the streets of toronto for over a decade and i’ve never seen a cyclist hit, push, spit at, or otherwise physically assault a pedestrian. i’ve never even seen a bike hit a pedestrian by accident. yes, i’m sure these things have happened, but to portray this as the norm?

    on the other hand i’ve seen several incidents of “road rage” with motorists leaving their vehicles to assault people, or throwing things out the window at people. twice i’ve been threatened with death and had things thrown at my face when i politely asked a motorist to be careful because he almost hit me. i’ve been hit by a car while walking and while cycling. both were hit & runs. one resulted in several $1000s of dental and medical bills, only partially covered by insurance.

    to sue, who tells us that the police don’t favour cars, how about the LAW? by law, if you can’t see the face of someone who hits you and positively identify that person, you can’t charge them. even if you have the make, model, and license plate number. even if the car has matching damage, and witnesses saw that car involved in the accident. if you can’t see the person behind the wheel, no dice. it happened to me, and as the hit & run detective explained it to me, that’s the law.

  34. True we should ignore idiots like Richler, but idiots like that worry me they’ll ignore me as I go under their wheels. Cyclists have to band together so they can’t ignore us. Time to be a pain in the ***.

  35. Michael, thanks for that link. I totally forgot about that cartoon. I watched it as a kid and I totally forgot about it. Things haven’t changed much have they? Not even with all the signs and warnings they had back then.

  36. Matt, I still don’t entirely understand your point – if it were another car, instead of a bike, stopping at a yellow light and blocking another car from continuing through, they would not be characterized as impeding anyone.

  37. I’ve been driving in this city for 40 years. Recently, I came to the conclusion that driving a car in the city is ridiculous because:

    a) the road infrastructure hasn’t changed much since I got my license.
    b) the number of cars on the road has increased exponentially.
    c) ‘city driving’ is a synonym for ‘polluting in line’.
    d) I couldn’t justify taking 1500 kg of scrap metal and plastic with me everywhere I went.
    e) I couldn’t justify needing 1500 kg of scrap metal and plastic just to move my 150 lb body somewhere else.
    f) I couldn’t reconcile why I/we still relied on 19th century technology for transport despite advancements in every other area.

    And I got fed up with the motorist mindset of self-importance. I came to the conclusion that every motorist seems to view himself as ‘an important guy who’s got to get there fast’. And the faster they go, the more people they pass, the more red lights they run, the more expensive the vehicle, the more they multi-task on their cellphone, is only reinforcement of their self-importance.

    So, I bought a Metropass and now I read on my way to work.

  38. The scenario is all too familiar to me. I have been cycling in Toronto (and along Queen Street West in exactly the same place where this incident occurred) for more than 12 years. I get out on my bicycle at least once or twice a day, all year-round.

    The drama tends to unfold in this way: While cycling at fairly high speed in the right lane, I approach an intersection just as the light goes yellow or red and I come to a stop at the white line. I end up standing in the middle of the lane.
    Usually, motorists wait patiently behind me and we all go ahead when the light turns green. But, I can’t count the number of times when the driver in the vehicle directly behind me has honked at me, not just once, but over and over again, because they want to make a right turn. Several times, irate drivers have yelled obscenities at me. And at least a couple of times, the driver has gone into full-on “road rage” and I’ve become concerned that things might get out of hand.

    I should note that if I’m not travelling at high speed and I see a red light coming up, I will usually move to the curb as I approach the intersection as a courtesy to drivers coming up behind me who may want to make a right turn. But, quite simply, I don’t always end up at the curb and since I’m standing right at the stop line, I can’t exactly move to the curb without crossing into the intersection, going backwards, or picking up my bicycle and moving it sideways.

    Drivers need to understand that cyclists who stop at the stop line cannot move to the curb without crossing into the intersection, and nor should they be expected to. Cyclists have every right to stay right where they are, and motorists should be patient and wait for the light to go green.

    While it may seem blissfully obvious to most people, a lot of motorists obviously do not understand what’s going on. They expect the cyclist to move over.

    Just as motorists have been educated about pedestrian right-of-ways, and the benefits of seatbelts, motorists need to be educated about this and other unique scenarios involving cyclist/motorist etiquette in the city.

  39. “Just as motorists have been educated about pedestrian right-of-ways…”

    If only that were true, Malcolm. I see little evidence of it in many drivers.

  40. Haha, I love how the guy’s a cop.

    When I was in elementary school, the “self-esteem teacher” showed us a poster showing caricatures of many different occupations, with the question, “Which one is the alcoholic?” written above.

    The answer given to the class was “You can’t tell who’s an alcoholic!” but later on she told me the most likely of them to be an alcoholic is the police officer.

  41. Malcolm,

    I have experienced precisely the same scenario many, many times, and I fully agree with your sentiment. I should point out one thing, though: it is both dangerous and illegal for a motorist to overtake a vehicle (including a bicycle) on the left at a stop light to make a right turn. What I do is position myself at the very left edge of the right lane, allowing motorists who wish to turn right to pass me on the right and turn. Since I adopted this strategy, I haven’t had any incidents.

    This strategy works well when the rightmost lane is used for parking, since, as a cyclist, you then end up riding in a straight line. When the rightmost lane is used as a traffic thoroughfare, it may not work so well, since it may require repositioning oneself before and after the traffic light. In that case, one should at any rate maintain a straight line at least one metre from the curb (as opposed to putting one’s foot down on the curb as I see all too often) in order to communicate clearly to other road users the intention of proceeding straight through the light.

  42. I have always known somehow that motoring somehow engenders impatient and sometimes violent instincts. The Disney cartoon mentioned above is quite topical.

    Reading this thread, I sense that some people here want to respond with a demonstration that could be taken as a deliberate attempt to antagonize motorists.

    I once rode in a group ride in which some of the participants (by no means all — the group leader, for example, did not support their actions) decided to ride out so far to the left that they could only be seen as deliberately obstructing motor traffic for no legitimate reason. This kind of behaviour is irresponsible and counterproductive.

    It is one matter to take the right lane, to overtake other vehicles, or to make left turns from the left lane. For these reasons one may legitimately need to block motorists. Some motorists may be upset about this, but they need to realize that cyclists have a right to the road.

    Taking all available lanes on a busy, multi-lane street when there is no logical reason to do so portrays cyclists as reckless and irresponsible. Motorists who are affected by this will not go home and say to themselves “Gee, after being stalled for several minutes by a bunch of cyclists riding out in the left lane on a six-lane street, I now feel that cyclists really deserve more respect.” They will say that cyclists are a bunch of anarchists who exist just to disrupt traffic and have no legitimate needs. Perhaps some potential allies have been lost forever. Further, many will not know the difference between cyclists legitimately using the roads and cyclists making political statements. This further fuels the antagonism that I, as a frequent cyclist, must then face.

  43. It’ll be of interest to see if this makes it into the “carist” and “carrupt” mainstream media, at least NOW gave it a brief nod.
    Queen St. is a logical place to favour bikes, not just because Tammy suggests it, but waay back when, there was a proposal for a higher-order transit service that we even had some preliminary 2nd platform work done for it. Just because the politricks of the City meant we started to build subways to sprawl instead of in the core, doesn’t mean that the logic of a better transit system has disappeared, in fact it’s become even more of a sad tragedy and a travesty, as we still seem to support building a costly car-based Front St. Extension instead of some transit options, which do include having a Queen St. transitway too – why not?
    There’s an idea I’ve been too busy to develop and share but will do so soon that could improve all of these situations, though it’s “roadical” but in the meanwhile, if you see a piece in the mass tedia, write a letter eh?

  44. I realize that this guy is an exception – and on suspension anyway – but isn’t it classic that the cops won’t ticket cars parked in bike lanes but will slug cyclists who stop for yellow lights?

    and what did that drunk cop get who hit a pedestrian and fled the scene back in December? House arrest?

    Toronto Star
    12 January 2007

    The officer (SLOPER) who will live with his parents in Ottawa, must serve a year of house arrest followed by five months in which he can go out, but subject to a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

    He must perform 175 hours of community service and can’t drive for three years.

    Sloper was driving on Queen St. E. near Carlaw Ave. in a heavy rainstorm at 2: 49 a.m. on Sept. 9, 2004, when he hit Mullings as he crossed the street. His body caused a gaping hole in the constable’s windshield. Sloper got out and saw Mullings lying behind his car, but instead of helping him drove home.

    What followed was a series of deceptions, the judge said. The next morning, Sloper phoned to report the damage to police, claiming it was caused by a break and enter.

    He had his car towed but police looking for a vehicle damaged by the hit and run spotted it at an Eastern Ave. body shop. Mullings’ blood, hair and tissue were on the windshield.

    Hours later, Sloper reported to 55 Division, his workplace. Crying and shaking, he told his sergeant he was in “big trouble.”

    “I hit a guy with my car this morning and I panicked. I didn’t know what to do,” he said.

  45. If this guy is the exception, why is it a classic cop response?

    He’s an asshole, who happened to be a cop. There’s a lot of glee being expressed that he’s a cop, which seems misplaced.

  46. This made the Star today p. A21 in paper, and your good survey of city news has it at top thanks –
    Maybe a decade ago, there was a truly horrific and sad case of a little boy near Ottawa being wiped out by a cop in a car, with a certain amount of avoidance and closing of ranks that was most unjust. The carism of our cops and institutions must be addressed. In Europe apparently motorists are presumed to be at fault in any collision between bikes and cars unless clearly proved otherwise – and this might explain why most images of Euro bikers don’t show them wearing helmets as they’re less subjected to carnage.Or car-rage. Or is that car-n-rage as they do seem to go together as they have all these stimuli to go, be aware, stress about this and that, and there’s a build-up of a lot of frustrations with a very limited range of physical actions eg. step on brake, step on gas pedal.
    I appreciate the comments of Brad Hovinen. Maybe the clumping together of cyclists in commutes and even in mini-CMs might percolate through a bit more, or at least the threat of witnesses and more damage to the vehicle from greater numbers might deter mowing.

  47. Regarding my 8:15a.m. comment and the 10:52a.m. response/query – replace the word “classic” with “interesting” or “ironic” and that is more what I meant.

  48. All things considered, we have it pretty good here in Toronto. Over the last year, I spent three months in Ecuador where there is no pedestrian right-of-way whatsoever. Every person who crosses the street puts his or her life on the line–semi trailers, trucks, buses, taxis, whiz by without regard to anyone who needs to cross the street. Mothers zip across four lane highways with children following in tow. Even in the heart of the capital city, Quito, pedestrians are at the mercy of the motorists. Every time a pedestrian comes to an intersection, he or she must wait for a gap in traffic. Getting across a roundabout is hell–sometimes there is no choice but to run. Motorists will NEVER stop for a pedestrian, in fact, they will often speed up. Other than that, I love Quito, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before they start enforcing the rules.

  49. 1. A few sundays ago around easter I saw a little old lady crossing Church at Gould against the light. Traffic was very light but a cab managed to barrel down Church toward her. Instead of slowing down or curving around her he had the sheer gall to honk at this poor old woman who couldn’t walk very fast at all.

    2. Anybody know where I can get some kind of James Bond/Mad Max pointy thingies to attach to my bike axles and handgrips so drivers will stop squishing me into the curb?

  50. There seem to be people who think that governments should focus on intensification and density. Great, let’s pack people into an environment where you can’t bike because of all the traffic. If planned right, a city like Vaughan could be cheaper and healthier place to live. Hey, at least in the suburbs they have enough space to build bike lanes. In downtown Toronto even if a small number of people drive the traffic is massive and dangerous. Remember the city’s history, our boom began in the 50s, the height of car culture.

  51. Lately I’ve noticed that people become much easier aggressive, when something isn’t to their liking. It doesn’t seem to matter if it happens on the street or in another public place. It would be interesting to do a piece on this (investigate what is causing this flare-up of violence).

    Maurice Michielsen
    DocFilm Productions

  52. That video is really scary. I enjoyed reading the intelligent comments afterward.

    I came upon this web page while looking for Ecuadorian driving rules. Malcolm R. is correct in saying that pedestrians never seem to have the right-of-way here, even when they have a pedestrian green light or are in a pedestrian crosswalk. If a pedestrian with a green light enters the intersection and a car later wants to make a right- or left-turn that conflicts with the pedestrian, the car will honk at the pedestrian who entered the street first. In the United States, cars will slow down and even stop for pedestrians who are in the road, but not in Ecuador.

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