The family of the cyclist killed after falling into traffic from the sidewalk on the Stanley Park Causeway is suing Ministry of Transportation, West Vancouver Blue Bus Transit System, the driver involved and two pedestrians.
Antonina Skoczylas, 61, was hit and killed by a West Vancouver Blue Bus on the Stanley Park Causeway on May 25, 2013 when she attempted to pass a pedestrian on the shared sidewalk and fell.
The Skoczylas’ lawsuit, filed by Slawomir Stanislaw Skoczylas and Slawomir Zygmunt Skoczylas, suggests that the province, the transit system, the driver and the two pedestrians were negligent in ensuring the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.
The suit alleges that the Ministry of Transportation failed to take measures to design and maintain the Stanley Park Causeway sidewalks so pedestrians and cyclists do not have to travel so close together or close to high-speed traffic.
It also alleges that bus driver Murray Carpenter failed to keep a proper look out, slow down, sound the horn or avoid the accident with “due care”. The suit claims the Blue Bus Transit System is at fault for failing to maintain the bus, train the driver and issuing policy for careful driving near a pedestrian area.
The two pedestrians Iloiko Elizabeth Laszlo and ‘Jane Doe’ are labelled at fault for failing to keep “adequate, or any, lookout” for Skoczylas, heed the cyclist’s warning that she was approaching and give her room and “bumping, jostling or otherwise colliding” with the cyclist, causing her to fall into traffic.
The Ministry of Transportation and Vancouver Park Board have since laid out plans to improve safety on the walkway.
Earlier this week, the Vancouver Park Board unanimously approved the Ministry of Transportation’s proposal to build bike lanes on both sides of the Stanley Park Causeway.
At a cost of $7 million, the plan will widen the western pathway to a width of 2.1 metres for solely one-way southbound cyclist use. In certain areas, the pathway will be widened to 2.7 metres to establish passing lanes.
The eastern pathway will also be widened to 3.6 metres for one-way northbound cyclist and two-way pedestrian traffic. At locations where there are obstacles, the pathway will receive an additional 1.5 metre widening.
Traffic direction on both sides of the new pathways will be restricted with the installation of new directional signage. There will also be green-coloured safety fencing along the length of both sides of the Causeway to prevent pedestrians and cyclists from falling onto the roadway.