Thoughtful piece by Treehugger’s Lloyd Atler. The focus of the piece is pretty much spot on. Those of us in Toronto who ride bikes, helmeted or not, deserve to be able to ride without regularly dealing with the threat of high-speed heavy metal. Especially since in terms of overall wear and tear on the city our choice of transportation costs nothing to maintain, nothing to the environment and actually produces net savings in terms of overall public health. And yet, despite this, we’re to blame for things like tight spaces between streetcar tracks and cycle routes and poor parking by drivers.

People, including myself, have been focusing on the helmet issue (Joe wasn’t wearing one) but in fact, there are a combination of contributing causes here: crappy infrastructure, where the city leaves abandoned streetcar tracks in the road unused for thirty years; careless drivers who don’t bother to park properly and yes, a bit of personal responsibility. But really, these days in Toronto you are at about as much risk of being hit by a stray bullet as you are for falling off your bike, but I don’t hear the politicians demanding that everybody wear bulletproof vests. Let’s stop blaming the victim and fix this.

Hear here.

Memorial Set Up in Toronto For Cyclist who Died Because of Abandoned Streetcar Tracks : TreeHugger