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Keep them clear

Keep bike lanes clear of parked cars: Editorial 

New provincially granted power to mail tickets to offenders should help parking enforcement officers make clear that it’s not OK to stop your car in bike lanes

Published on Tue Dec 29 2015

New provincially granted authority should help Toronto parking enforcement officers keep bikes lanes clear of cars.

Life in the fast lane. That’s the promise Toronto’s growing network of “cycle tracks” holds out for bikers.

Sadly, the reality is far from that. Lanes that should provide safe passage for cyclists are turned into obstacle courses as unaware or insensitive drivers pull their vehicles over for quick stops. Meanwhile, everyone from couriers to construction truck drivers to mobile document shredders simply use the lanes as parking spaces.

When any of that happens, cyclists must navigate around the cars and trucks, moving unexpectedly into busy traffic, endangering themselves and slowing down cars in the regular lanes.

That’s problematic for cyclists, drivers and even pedestrians who might get caught in the middle.

How to stop it? Ticketing will get out the message. But using fines as a deterrent to keep cyclists safe and traffic flowing smoothly isn’t easy. Drivers can take off before parking enforcement officers have a chance to drop a ticket on their windshield.

That’s why a new provincially granted power for parking enforcement officers to mail tickets to offenders after simply recording their license plate number and other details is such a welcome initiative.

Brian Moniz, a Toronto parking enforcement supervisor, told the Star’s David Rider he’s confident the new system, scheduled to start in the new year, will get results. If drivers knew that even parking in the bike lanes momentarily could result in a $150 ticket, “people would get the message.”

It’s not that parking enforcement officers aren’t already trying to keep the lanes clear. Even without the new system they managed to issue 6,500 tickets for $150 apiece this year. 

Still, the new system can’t come soon enough to keep bike lanes clear, cyclists safe and traffic moving speedily

"STOP SIGNS Are for stopping!"

  Hello All,

If you have not heard yet, the entire group was pulled over by a York Region Traffic Cop Just past the Petro Canada gas station on Crestwood ( Yonge & Steels ) for failing to stop at the first stop sign. 

He stopped at 8 tickets before letting us go on our way thanks to Mark Crawford.

He said he was waiting for us to come by because there had been complaints and he would be back next week.  

So please be aware, when we get to that area we will stop at the sign as a group and roll through as a group (like a big truck ) most importantly the four way stop after the right hand turn on to Hilda we will do the same.   

What's two more stops in a ride peppered with lights?

Through some phone calls the word is this is coming from York Region command down not just an edgy cop out to thwart cyclists fun.

If you want a little ammunition for your rights on the road you can find some info here http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=491e0995bbbc1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD&vgnextchannel=f4d4970aa08c1410VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD   highway traffic act.

Its up to us to keep our ride ours. 

At traffic lights that are red when we roll up to them please as a group stay behind any cars that may be there in front of us all ready and keep control of the lane we occupy.

When we move over to the right to slip past cars we are conceding the lane to them.   So we should not expect them to make room for us while trying to cut in front of them, we wouldn't do this at the check out line with our cart, please don't do this on the bike.

Part of the comfort ease and enjoyment of The Donut is often the unspoken reality of our high visibility as a group and the safety it provides us individually to pursue our passion of riding.

There is no 'One Face' or voice of the ride so we can't let uneducated drivers or riders actions become it by default.

Here's to thousands of more safe and enjoyable Km's in the new year.

-Kevin Lehman

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