There are many examples in London, Ontario, like in many cities, where springtime cycling can become challenging due to cycling path maintenance issues. Here a sand-filled pot has been knocked over spilling sand onto the cycling track on Dundas near Wellington Road in downtown London.
Much like general roadway maintenance, the maintenance of cycling paths, trails and tracks is needed on a constant basis. Many cities like London have reduced their roadway inspections over the years, especially with the advent of the Municipal Act and the so called Minimum Maintenance Standards. With no accountability municipalities are free to chose their level of acceptable vigilance while relying on their Risk Management departments to handle claims in an aggressive manner.
When cyclists collide with obstructions within a cycling path Risk Management departments in Ontario municipalities find creative ways of blaming the cyclist for failing to be sufficiently vigilant. With large resources at their disposal municipalities use tax payer money to fight the individual taxpayer rather than to improve safety for the taxpayer.
The creation of obstructions within a cycling track is often explained as necessary because various segments of the road and cycling track need rehabilitation from time to time. Never is it possible for individual taxpayers, including cyclists, to question if the obstructions were reasonable for the circumstances.
A large traffic cone is seen here placed in the eastbound cycling track of Dundas Street at Colborne Street in downtown London. In the background, across the street, is another obstruction as City maintenance vehicles have parked within the cycling track preventing it from being used.
Some obstructions are so prominent that cyclists are completely expelled from a cycling facility and must find alternate ways to bypass the area.
This view shows maintenance vehicles parked within the cycling track of Dundas Street at Colborne Street, completely blocking the track. Cyclists must find alternate ways of avoiding the obstruction, sometimes resulting in unexpectedly dangerous results.
Your cycling track is blocked Mr. Cyclist? Well that’s your problem, we have the right to conduct maintenance activities as we please. And you don’t have the right to question if it could be done in a better way.
So, cyclists beware. You have the right to cycle but not the right to complain. Try fighting City Hall….ha ha ha!