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May 23, 2017

Cycling safely in Toronto

According to the cycling advocacy group, Cycle Toronto, incidents of dooring are on the rise in Toronto. Dooring occurs when a cyclist traveling on a city street is hit by an opening car door.

Cycle Toronto stated in a press release that the number of dooring collisions went up in 2015 and 2016. According to data provided to them by Toronto police:

  • there were 132 dooring incidents in 2014;
  • 175 in 2015; and
  • 209 in 2016.

In its statement, Cycle Toronto said the dooring numbers “should be considered minimums” because they are only the incidents that were reported to police.

Streets in the downtown core of Toronto that have streetcar tracks and street parking are “overrepresented in the data, with particular emphasis on Queen St. W and College St.,” according to Cycle Toronto.

Streets that do not have streetcar tracks that were noted to be particularly problematic for cyclists included Bloor Street West and Yonge Street, which are obviously busy streets and were said to be “popular drop-off and pick-up areas.”

Cycle Toronto offers the following tips to help avoid dooring:
  • For drivers: Use your right hand, what’s known as the Dutch reach, when opening your car door. Always look over your shoulder before opening your door;
  • For cyclists: Avoid riding in the door zone by riding at least one metre from parked vehicles.


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