Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Cyclist Fatality Waiting/Designed to Happen

If you wanted to design a storm sewer grate to catch a bicycle wheel and throw the rider into fast heavy traffic you could not do better than this.

These are located along Eagleson Road between the Queensway and Hazeldean Road. They seem designed to capture bicycle wheels and kill cyclists.

I'm not sure why anyone would want to use something like that rather than the design below, used along Eagleson Road south of Hazeldean Road, that has the openings perpendicular to the wheels so you ride across them rather than along and into them.
Still shaking my head and making sure I stay well away from the curb along that section of Eagleson Road.

2 comments:

Centretowner said...

My first reaction was literally, "This is in Ottawa?!?"

Well over a decade ago, we'd moved to replace both of those kinds of grates (the latter needed to be replaced correctlyto not grab tires, and any tabs that stick out for alignment are quickly worn off). After some testing of designs, we'd* settled on the now-common fish design, which doesn't have any holes big enough to grab your tire.

However, the location sounds like it might be MTO-- i.e. Provincial-- territory, since it's near the 417. The fish standard only applies to municipal roads, and I'll admit I don't know much about how the MTO operates except that it's not unfair to consider them the bogeyman. Since they own the overpasses of the 417, they'll often set the speed limits on them faster than the municipal roads that approach them on either side, despite being steep hills with poor visibility, because of their provincial standards and complete disregard for local safety concerns. It wouldn't surprise me if this grate were on provincial property and the MTO hasn't bothered replacing it with a safer one because they simply don't give a damn.

Ideally, whoever does own the road hasn't fixed the problem because they weren't aware of it. I'd call it in to 3-1-1 pronto if I were you!

*("we" in the general sense; this was before my involvement in cycling advocacy)

Jamie said...

Don't look now, but Eagleson Road now has a round grate that is turned parallel to the flow. I fell into it with my Cervelo two days ago at 50 kph and cracked my rear rim and flatted. Luckily I was going fast enough that I wasn't thrown and was able to safely brake. I am pursuing a claim with the City but riders on Eagleson beware!