Toronto

Blocked bike lanes heat up war between Toronto cyclists and drivers

Kevin Behan sees them every day on his way to and from work downtown: cars and trucks parked in dedicated bike lanes. But he was surprisingly philosophical about the inconvenience he and thousands of bicyclists put up with.

Bicyclists say city should do better job enforcing no-parking rules in protected bike lanes

Cyclist Kevin Behan says he sees bike paths blocked by cars and trucks every day. The city needs to do a better job enforcing no parking in separated bike lanes.

Cyclist Kevin Behan encounters them every day to and from work downtown: cars and trucks parked in dedicated bike lanes.

But he was surprisingly philosophical about the inconvenience he and thousands of bicyclists put up with.

"You can get into a debate with (the drivers) but they're probably not going to move," he told CBC News. "Without proper enforcement, there isn't any way to deal with it other than go around them and go about your way."

Behan complimented the city for setting up protected bikes lanes on several downtown streets but said it could do more.

"It's great to have them," he said. "I'm very supportive of the city for putting them here but without an enforcement strategy to keep them clear they don't serve their purpose correctly."

The city says "blocking a bicycle lane, even for a moment is illegal" and carries a fine of $150.

Coun. Glenn De Baeremaeker said he cycles from Scarborough to downtown and back every day, and said the issue of bike lanes being blocked by cars on a YouTube video titled What 4 Weeks of Daily Commute by Bike Looks Like in Toronto is accurate.

"Ninety nine per cent of drivers are wonderful people but one per cent are lazy, inconsiderate and they're putting people's lives at risk," De Baeremaeker told CBC News. "When they have to swerve around a car or a truck because the bike lane is blocked, they're going into traffic.

"We really need people to respect the bike lanes," he added. "If you want to go to the variety store, go around the corner and park your car. If you're making a delivery, go around the corner and park your car. It's not too much to ask."

De Baeremaeker said the city "is out there every single day of the week with more enforcement officers. Dozens and dozens of drivers are getting more tickets for being inconsiderate and putting people's in harms way."

To enforce no-parking rules in bike lanes, he said "you'll have to have a police officer standing on every single corner and we just can't do that."

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