Burnhamthorpe Credit River Bridge

Raise The RailOn the morning of Wednesday March 29 2006, 46 year-old Andrzej Sacawa was riding his bicycle westbound on Burnhamthorpe Road over the Credit River bridge in Mississauga. His handlebars struck the railing, causing him to fall off his bicycle and over the railing to the river below. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

This story struck a nerve with me for several reasons. The first time I rode my bike out there, I noticed the very low railing and thought to myself, "This is dangerous! How can this be part of the Burnhamthorpe Trail system?" Yes, this bridge with a railing that is only 38 inches high is part of a cycling route. The other reason why I was bothered with this incident is that the city of Mississauga seemed to put the blame on Mr. Sacawa for riding his bike on the sidewalk!

I rode along the Burnhamthorpe Trail to the Credit River Bridge to survey the scene. In my opinion, the "trail" provides cyclists a false sense of security by separating them from traffic, while funneling them onto sidewalks and over bridges with low guardrails.

Please click here to see my photos and read my commentary about this trail and bridge.

Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists (ARC) has followed up on the incident by holding a memorial, calling for a formal coroner's inquest, and demanding an apology from the city of Mississauga for creating a dangerous situation and blaming the cyclist for his own death.

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Well Done

The Victim to this incident was unfortunatly the father of a student, whom i knew by name and talked to occassionally, from my school. Students from my school are all extremely angered at the lack of action from the mayor, and the city. Honestly speaking, raising the rail shouldn't be too hard of a matter, and shouldn't cost an obscenely amount of money. The city's inability to react promptly to correct the problem, its attempts to try to shift blame and place excuses to bar itself from any responsibility to the tragedy has greatly damaged our trust in our city.

Your pictures and commentary of the bridge is superb, i hope that this situation will be rectified soon.

Thank you

Hi Dan,

Thank you for leaving a comment. I hope that by taking these photos and posting these comments, the City of Mississauga (and other municipalities!) will examine all of their bike "facilities" to make sure they are safe, and that they do not create additional unsafe situations.

Unfortunately, it seems that Mississauga has so far been very silent about this issue, except for laying blame on the cyclist.

thanks for this... however,

thanks for this... however, i don't see where the railing is low. which picture shows this? thanks, again. brandon

Low railing

Brandon,

You're right. I should have taken a picture of the railing height. There were some good pictures in some of the online news articles though. Here's one that shows the railing is basically the same height as an adult bike seat/handlebar, which means most of the rider's weight is far above the railing:
CTV News

Burnhampthorpe Credit River Bridge

Thank you for posting these photos on the web. I did not think about this accident too much before I actually saw the place and by accident met a daughter of this man there when she was lighting the candles at the place of the accident just a few days ago.

She said that she and her brother gave up on putting up posters because they are being removed at night. Shame on Mississauga. What do the city officals plan to accomplish by this cover up? How many more deaths are needed before they take action?

When I was there for about 20 minutes, 4 cyclists crossed this bridge riding on their bicycles and none of them knew about the accident. How many more deaths are needed before any action is taken?

Kevin Douglas

Advise to others

I drove by the bridge few times a week, never noticed that signs are being removed at night - I have seen the signs many times. I will contact mississauga city hall and I will bug the **** out of them about the rail and what they plan on doing about it. I advise others to do the same. Show them that no one has forgotten about this. My respect to the family members.

I agree with your points and

I agree with your points and feel saddened by this incident. I have seen bridges (Danforth bridge in Toronto) that not only have higher rails but actually have wire barrier to prevent anyone from even coming close to falling off the bridge.

Cyclists are supposed to dismount and walk their bicycles over a bridge. It's a safety issue and a proactive measure to prevent any accidents. I would never ride a bike across a bridge, especially near the railing. One is better off to ride in the designated bicycle lanes on the street, though getting hit by a car becomes the risk.

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