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Cyclist Safety Big Topic At City Hall

Every summer, it seems, city politicians debate the same issues: what to do with Toronto’s garbage, and how to make space for cyclists on our roads.

This summer, the problems came to a highly-publicized head.

A strike by city workers revealed exactly how much we throw away, and the death of courier Darcy Allan Sheppard was a stark reminder that road sharing is rarely smooth.

“There’s no more real debate on this issue,” Councillor Michael Walker said on Monday.

He’s calling for changes to existing laws affecting bicyclists. He wants to make helmets mandatory – bells are already compulsory – and force cyclists to get a license.

“It’s a slam dunk. Nineteen years ago, the provincial government recommended that we do that.”

But the idea isn’t as popular with those who ride.

“When it comes to mandatory helmets, I think the law should remain as it is, which is mandatory for those under 18 years old,” countered Yvonne Bambrick of the Toronto Cyclists’ Union.

“I believe it should be a personal choice for adults, whether they feel the need to wear a helmet.”

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee is currently considering the proposal.