Literal death traps; that is what this blog post is about. Various advocacy groups and news outlets have published lists of the most dangerous intersections for cyclists. The following is an aggregation of these lists with a sprinkling of personal experience.
1. Queen St. W and Niagara Street
There are 4 cyclists in this picture of Queen and Niagara. Can you spot them? Of course not. 2 are blocked from view by the large flat-bed truck, 1 is obscured by the hydro poles near the right-turning Elantra and the last one is navigating parked cars to his right and passing vehicles/street car tracks to his left.
2. Lakeshore East and Carlaw Ave
Where Queen and Niagara is cramped and dangerous, Carlaw and Lakeshore is wide open and dangerous, with fast moving vehicles (especially eastbound) who have just left the highway and are suddenly on the same road as a recreational trail. Cyclists beware at this intersection. Left and right turning vehicles from Lakeshore seem oblivious to our presence.
3. College St and Shaw Ave
Sharrows, parked cars, street car tracks, a cross walk and contra-flow lanes. There is a lot going on at this intersection that is one of the most cycled intersections in the city. Yet despite the fact that it is so popular for cyclists, we still seem to be third class citizens, afforded less space and priority than cars and street cars.
4. Dundas St E and Broadview Ave
That may look like a minefield, but it is actually the bike lane on Dundas St E as it crosses Broadview. There are more street car tracks, pot holes and patch jobs than you can shake a stick at, in addition to a steady stream of right-turning vehicles, all on one of the biggest East to West arteries for cycle-commuters.
5. Annette/Dupont/Dundas/Old Weston Rd
This is one of the most confusing intersections in the city, with 4 streets converging at a single intersection instead of 2. It is supposed to be a bike friendly extension of the railpath, but 4 directions of high-speed car traffic make even seasoned urban cyclists wary.
What are the other 5? We want to hear from you! Post the worst intersections you ride through in the comments, and we will update this list as we go.