Andrea Loewen Nair, a mother in shock, recounts the horrifying incident when her teenage son was hit by a vehicle near their local mall, White Oaks, in the city’s south-end.
The child was thrown on the pavement after the driver’s car made contact with his bike and continued to ride over the bicycle, as well as her son. The incident occurred suddenly as they proceeded from a parking lot, with the car turning left striking the boy and his bicycle.
Andrea points out the safety concerns for cyclists journeying from the north end of the city to White Oaks Mall. She believes protective bike lanes would have safeguarded her son from the incident. Despite the terrifying ordeal, her son, equipped with a helmet, escaped any serious injuries. This event, however, has spurred Andrea into action, advocating for immediate improvements in infrastructure and systems to ensure safer streets in London.
Daniel Hall, City of London’s Program Manager of Active Transportation, asserts the city’s objectives for expanding the cycling network at an accelerated pace. He specifically points out the active construction on Bradley Avenue as an initial move towards a bigger network in the south end of the city.
Andrea acknowledges the ongoing progress but demands quicker results. She desires the existing cycling paths to be seamlessly connected. Her reasoning stands that an abruptly ending cycling path can thrust the cyclist onto a busy road, where danger lurks at the turn of every wheel.
Daniel Hall guarantees expansion plans for the current bike lanes. He also mentions the upcoming work for the rapid transit project on Wellington Road. The project aims to connect a multiuse path all the way from Bradley Avenue near White Oaks Mall to the hospital near Baseline roads.
On the occasion of World Carfree Day on September 22, Andrea publicly challenges the city mayor and council members. She urges them to go about their daily duties, including work and shopping, without using a car for the entire day.
Spurred to action by her son’s accident, Andrea has initiated an online survey on bike safety. The results from this survey will be presented to the mayor in a meeting next Tuesday. Andrea Loewen Nair is a mother on a mission—to make the city streets a safer place for all, especially cyclists.