Gorski Consulting has expressed concern with respect to the safety of cyclists and pedestrians along London’s new multi-use path at its junction with Trafalgar Road in east London, Ontario. Those concerns have been previously highlighted in other news items on this Gorski Consulting website. An example of this danger is shown in the above photo which was taken while testing was being conducted at the path on August 24, 2018.
What is shown in the above photo is the body of a young female lying across the bike path within the shadow of the underpass of the Trafalgar Road underpass. Apparently the youngster was attempting to fish something out of the water with her hands. Other young persons were also present within the underpass but are not in view in the above photo. So why is this sight so dangerous? Well, let us take a look from a longer distance as shown in the photo below.
View looking north along the bike path upon approach to a sharp left turn that northbound cyclists would need to perform if they wished to travel underneath the Trafalgar Road underpass.
The young female is lying within the shadow of the underpass in the above photo. But how visible is she to a cyclist that would be approaching her location? Recall that testing was completed and reported by Gorski Consulting indicating that the average coasting speed of our test bicycle as it crossed the Pottersburg Creek bridge was just over 30 km/h and this is substantially higher than the average speed of recreational cyclists travelling along a typical level surface. This heightened speed is due to the downslope that exists from the CN railway overpass located about 325 metres south of Trafalgar Road.
The photo below shows the situation as northbound cyclists would be exiting the Pottersburg Creek bridge. The cycling path comes to an abrupt end so that those wishing to proceed further north need to make a sharp left turn to proceed into the Trafalgar underpass.
The photo below shows the extent of the change in direction that northbound cyclists need to make as they approach the Trafalgar underpass.
Clearly, when there are dark shadows on a sunny day a pedestrian lying across the path in the foreground would be difficult to see and even if a cyclist was able to successfully avoid such an obstacle it is quite possible that an impact could occur with the metal railing or with the concrete wall of the underpass. This is why we have expressed our concerns.