Ottawa News | Local Breaking | CTV News Ottawa
Ottawa cyclist records 'dooring' mishaps with camera mounted on helmet
Published Monday, September 15, 2014 4:44PM EDT Last Updated Monday, September 15, 2014 6:36PM EDT
Our exclusive story last week about Ottawa's Deputy Police Chief getting “doored” elicited a strong reaction from many of you. Among them was one email from an Ottawa man who cycles the streets with a camera attached to his helmet. He's recorded some pretty frightening close calls.
Pat Levesque is what one would call an endurance cyclist; he pedals about 10-thousand kilometers a year. After so many close calls, he mounted a small camera on his helmet to help educate drivers and other cyclists. Like one young man cycling on Laurier Street, who he passed, and advised him to stay a meter away from parked cars. Just two blocks after issuing that warning, you can see on the video as a driver flings a door open in Levesque's path. Levesque hops off his bike to talk to the driver.
“There was someone killed in downtown Ottawa,” he says to the motorist, “please remember next time to check your side mirror.”
That "someone" was Danielle Nacu, a young Ottawa woman killed on her commute to work in October of 2011 after was “doored.”
Last week, it was the Deputy Police Chief Jill Skinner.
“A lady opened her door and jammed it into the side of my bike,” the Deputy Chief told CTV Ottawa.
Skinner “tweeted” about her experience. Levesque uploaded his videos to YouTube.
"I think really shaming the driver, putting their license plate on YouTube,” says Levesque. “These people need to be “outed” because of their dangerous driving.”
With the number of cyclists on the rise on our streets, so, too, is the number of incidents. Citizens for Safe Cycling Ottawa is making this an election issue, urging the city to allocate $20 million a year on cycling, which represents 2.5% of the transportation budget. According to the organization, Ottawa council invested $28 million in cycling over four years, or roughly $7 million a year.
Michael Powell speaks for Citizens for Safe Cycling, “We want to make sure the funding is there to build infrastructure for cyclists and invest in users who want to be on their bikes.”
The “I Bike, I Vote” campaign outlines measures it wants the next council to take to improve cycling in Ottawa, including linking spending on cycling infrastructure to ridership, supporting “Vision Zero”, a city-free from cycling fatalities.
The full CFSC platform is available at www.bikeottawa.ca