What started as a beautiful day of cycling quickly became a nightmare for Bob Hooshley and his wife, Heather, when a mishap near the Jordan Village reconstruction site caused her to break her leg.

The couple lives in Waterdown but visits Lincoln often for cycling and because they have friends and family in the town.

“We go down quite often and cycle and hike the Bruce Trail and tour around,” he said. “We’ve been to that village many times this year and in previous years. We got married in Jordan Station actually.”

On Aug. 19, Hooshley said they were cycling through Jordan Village and rounded the corner of King Street, heading north along Nineteenth Street.

After passing the fire station, Hooshley said his wife noticed the new bike paths along the sides of the road.

He recalls his wife mentioning they should be on the bike lane rather than the road, so she angled her bike and headed toward it.

What she didn’t see, Hooshley said, is about a two-inch lip marking the edge of the lane.

“Boom, she’s down in a blink of an eye,” he said. “I was shocked. I just sort of stunned. I stopped, dropped my bike and ran over. And then a couple of residents came out.”

Luckily, she was wearing her helmet, so her head was saved from the crash.

Her leg, however, was not so lucky. Heather ended up breaking her femur in the fall and had to have a metal rod placed in her leg.

In the half-hour or so, it took paramedics to arrive on-scene, Hooshley said he saw multiple other cyclists trip over the lip as well and heard stories from area residents about pedestrians tripping as well.

Liliana Busnello, manager of corporate communications for the town, said it was made aware of the incident shortly after it happened.

Busnello said a safety review was conducted for the entire project area to identify opportunities to improve cyclist and pedestrian safety.

“We were sorry to hear about the accident. Public safety is very important to the town (especially in areas under construction),” she said. “In fact, the main driver for this project is to improve accessibility for residents and create active transportation facilities which did not previously exist on Nineteenth Street.”

As a result of the review, Busnello said high-visibility orange paint has been used to mark all crossing locations and additional asphalt ramping has been scheduled to be installed this week.

“Pedestrians and cyclists using the area should access the sidewalk and cycle track at marked locations and avoid using driveway entrances,” she said.

By the time the project is completed next year and the final layer of asphalt is added, Busnello said the lip at the curb will be eliminated.

Hooshley understands that these projects take some time, but he calls the lip an “unintentional booby trap”.

“You got this new bike path beside the road and you’re getting lured in,” he said. “When you see that, you want to get up onto it and you’re being lured right across this hazard … they are leaving the top asphalt for a year or so. They wait until the road has had time to go through a winter, I guess, and then they can put a nice layer of fresh asphalt, make it all beautiful and fill in any settlements or whatever. But for that whole period you’ve got this hazard.”

Since her surgery, Hooshley said his wife is recovering well. She is using a walker and is seeing a physiotherapist while she relearns how to walk.

“When they go in to do the surgery and put this metal rod, which will be with you the rest of your life, it’s like starting all over again,” he said. “We want to avoid anybody else having anything remotely close to the pain she’s going through and the impact on her life.”

By Abby Green, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 08, 2023 at 12:00

This item reprinted with permission from   Grimsby Lincoln News   Grimsby, Ontario
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