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Toronto streets most dangerous in Canada to cycle, walk

Urban cycling consultant Yvonne Bambrick bikes down a street in Kensington Market on May 26, 2011. CITYNEWS.

Toronto’s streets are the most dangerous in the country to cycle or walk, according to a new study.

A report released Thursday by the city’s Traffic Safety Unit revealed Toronto had the highest rate of vehicles colliding with cyclists and pedestrians in the first nine months of last year.

For every 100,000 people, there were 42 vehicle-bike crashes in Toronto, while the second and third spots went to Montreal with 38 and Vancouver with 33.

In Toronto, police recorded 78 vehicle-pedestrian collisions, ahead of Montreal’s 71 and Edmonton’s 50.

“We have streetcar tracks to contend with; we have cyclists riding between where car doors open and streetcar tracks,” said urban cycling consultant Yvonne Bambrick.

“One of the things that the statistics showed was that intersections are clearly where we have the most problems, where the most collisions occur both for pedestrians and for cyclists.”

Next month, public works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong will introduce a broad plan for a network of curbed bike lanes along such roads as Sherbourne, Wellesley and Richmond streets. Smaller roads would connect the entire system, which would extend to the lake.

For cycling safety tips, visit the City of Toronto website.