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'We have work to do': Cyclists push for safer city streets


Cyclists in Waterloo Region are calling for change on the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims.

“We’re just trying to raise awareness about the people that get killed and seriously injured on our streets,” said Caleb DeGroot-Maggetti, organizer for the event at Kitchener City Hall.

The global initiative is hitting home for cyclists living in the region.

“You feel sometimes like you’re targeted... if someone takes a right turn in front of you, or opens their door,” said one person.

“Cycling safety has come so far,” said Phil Molto, one of the participants at Sunday's event. “We have work to do but we have come a long way.”

Organizers emphasized the importance of creating awareness around road safety and implementing measures to prevent collisions.

“We can have infrastructure systems and transportation systems that don’t let people die, and don’t let people get seriously injured because of distracted or impaired driving, or any of that,” DeGroot-Maggetti said.

According to the City of Kitchener’s website, more than 1,200 traffic collisions are reported every year with an average of 200 injuries.

“There’s a wide diversity of cycling in today’s world, we just need to get the message out of safety, and it goes both ways,” explained Molto.

One thing advocates point to is Kitchener’s Vision Zero Strategy. It’s touted as a multi-year plan to create safer city streets through design, enforcement and education.

“There’s an opportunity for education and harm reduction,” said one resident. “I think it’s a co-opportunity.”

On Sunday, a community bike ride was held in honour of the victims of road collisions.

Participants called for more preventable measures and advocated for a more serious legal response in preventable road deaths and injuries.

“People just need to get along,” Molto said. “Cyclists, cars, pedestrians. There’s a lot of room, let’s share it and let’s get out there and have a nice day.”

Organizers said they’ll continue to support and promote the Vision Zero Strategy and Bill 40, the Moving Ontarians Safely Act, to make streets safer for everyone. Top Stories

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