Rough roads jar Toronto cyclists

Rough roads are causing costly repairs for many bicyclists in Toronto. Experts say bad roads are also putting cyclists safety at risk.

Casey Anderson of The CyclePath runs a bicycle repair shop in East York.

“It is debris from dump trucks and the potholes on roads that is causing serious accidents and expensive repairs afterwards,” he said. “Sometimes is more to do with the people using the road than the road itself.”

According to Transport Canada, poor road conditions cause over 350 fatalities and 25,000 injuries each year across the country.

Cyclists are always first to experience the brunt of road disintegration. According to Canadian Automobile Association, when roads start to deteriorate it usually start at the edges, where cyclists generally ride. This puts cyclists at greater risk of crashing or losing control if they hit a pothole or if they must veer off to avoid large cracks.

Jay Morrison commutes often to his workplace in downtown Toronto. “Sherbourne Street is in really rough shape,” Morrison said. “I was almost side swiped twice trying to avoid potholes on Shuter Street.”
Commuting to downtown seems to be getting worse every day, he added.

If cyclists avoid serious injuries because of dangerous road conditions, they may still end up with expensive and bicycle repairs.

According to The CyclePath, besides repairing flat tires, many cyclists have to tune-up their bikes at least twice in summer months to keep their bikes on the road. That costs as much as $59.

Each year the CAA and the Ontario Road Builders Association compile a list of the 20 worst roads in Toronto.

They blame lack of investment by all three levels of the government for crumbling streets.