bike lane
Fort Street bike lane (Jay Wallace Images)

The Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition (GVCC) has issued a statement after a cyclist was killed in a collision with a truck last week.

The group is calling for more investment in protected bike lanes on Gorge Road, after a woman riding her bike at the intersection of Gorge Rd and Harriet Rd was killed after being hit by a truck on Friday, November 6.

“While Victoria is a safe place to ride, Friday’s tragedy reminds us we have not finished yet,” said Corey Burger, GVCC Policy & Infrastructure Chair.

“On both Gorge Rd. and Government St., where cyclist Eileen Evans was killed in 2016, the City has a plan to build protected bike lanes to keep people on bikes safe. But neither will happen unless Council approves funding in 2021 and beyond.”

The group goes on to call for the city to follow international best practices by launching a full fledged investigation in the aftermath of her death, that includes experts from civil engineering, urban design, BC Coroners Service, and traffic safety officers.

Their argument is backed up by a tragedy in 2016 when 73-year-old experienced cyclist Eileen Evans was killed by a truck driver turning right on the intersection of Government Street and Fisgard Street.

At that point, the BC Coroners Service ruled her death an accident, but the GVCC says they failed to take the design of the bike lane and its lack of physical protection between vehicles and bikes into consideration while making that assessment.

On Tuesday, VicPD and the BC Coroner’s Service released some scant details around the death of the still-unidentified cyclist on November 6.

According to police, the victim’s family does not reside in Canada, which created a delay in contacting the next of kin.

They added that the driver who struck the cyclist was cooperating with investigators and intoxication had been ruled out as a contributing factor.

The Coroner’s Service said that they were in the early stages of their investigation and had no further information to release at this time.

The cycling coalition wants the woman’s death to be recognized as a preventable tragedy.

“We urge municipalities, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, and BC Coroners Service to move quickly to develop improved crash investigations protocols that include road design and increased investment in protected bike lanes,” reads the GVCC’s statement.

Victoria Buzz has reached out to the BC Coroners Service for more details on their investigation into her death.