July 25, 2015 - 11:49 AM
KELOWNA – A huge turnout for a Critical Mass Ride through downtown Kelowna in honour of a woman killed while riding her bike on Bernard Avenue.
Almost 200 people on bicycles, many dressed in black, rode in a slow procession through downtown streets Friday evening, July 24, according to a media release from the ride’s organizer Michael Z. Smith.
Patricia Keenan, 38, died in hospital of head injuries suffered during a collision with a car door that opened up in front of her while riding down Bernard Avenue on July 14. Cyclists call it getting doored.
Smith says they held the rally to show their concern the same kind of accident could happen again and to send a message to the City of Kelowna safe cycling infrastructure should be a priority.
“Cyclists often say, ‘Does someone have to die before something is done?’ but always hoping that the answer is no,” Smith says in the release. “Now, the answer can't be no because someone has died leaving a son without his mother and leaving a community without a wonderful volunteer and friend.”
He says Keenan died because a driver didn’t shoulder check.
“Failure to shoulder check when driving can result in hitting another car and is considered both a traffic violation and very poor driving,” Smith says. “Failure to shoulder check when opening a car door is equally dangerous to cyclists, as Patricia so tragically demonstrated.”
He hopes Kelowna’s mayor and councillors take note of the outpouring of dismay at Patricia’s death and work together with the cycling community to make the city a safe place to cycle.
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— This story was updated at 9:39 a.m., Sunday, July 26, 2015 to correct the number of cyclists who attended the event.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015