Canada Post, Toronto's 'worst offender' for blocking bike lanes, vows to steer clear
'I'm elated by this,' parking enforcement officer Kyle Ashley says
Toronto's most proactive bike lane enforcer, Kyle Ashley, is one step closer to fulfilling his mission of keeping the city's bike lanes clear of errant vehicles as Canada Post vows to stop its drivers from parking where they shouldn't.
Canada Post announced on Tuesday their vehicles will stop parking in bike lanes while making deliveries or pickups throughout the city after Ashley thrust the delinquent postal vehicles into the spotlight of his Twitter account.
"I'm elated by this, and hoping for more from other companies to follow this example," the parking enforcement officer said.
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Although he has only been guarding the city's bike lanes for seven weeks, Ashley told CBC Toronto that Canada Post is the "worst offender" for violating cyclist's space, based on his personal observation.
"This problem isn't unique to Canada Post by any means," Ashley said on Monday. "They're right up there with the FedEx [and] all of these delivery companies, they are the most egregious offenders, followed by the people moving services — Ubers and taxis."
Ticketed and sat here and watched at least 8 cyclists of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> and <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TOPoli?src=hash">#TOPoli</a> be endangered by negligence. <a href="https://twitter.com/FedExCanadaHelp">@FedExCanadaHelp</a> will this end? <a href="https://t.co/JGOIQoAumo">pic.twitter.com/JGOIQoAumo</a>—@TPS_ParkingPal
Riding a bicycle and armed with his smartphone, Ashley uses his Twitter account to highlight the physical dangers and financial penalties of blocking bike lanes.
"If a car is parked illegally in a bike lane, what that's going to do, is it's going to force a cyclist out of their dedicated safe space into a live lane of traffic," he explained.
While he was riding his bike northbound on Shaw Street yesterday in Toronto's west end, he claims a Canada Post driver pulled right in front of him.
"The Canada Post truck came directly south, over the bike lane, parked over the sidewalk, made his delivery, looked at me and then just said to me that I care too much about my job," he said. "It's interactions like that where people see a uniformed officer standing there nevertheless this Canada Post driver just parked directly in front of me.
"This announcement today to me is long overdue."
On Friday, he also tweeted a photo of Canada Post van invading lanes on Runnymede Street.
"The other day I was called a jerk. Today … This driver… Used more colourful language, calling me a f------ idiot," the tweet read.
.<a href="https://twitter.com/canadaposthelps">@canadaposthelps</a> the other day I was called a jerk. Today... This driver ... Used more colorful language. Calling me f'ing idiot. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZbkqVCAEq0">pic.twitter.com/ZbkqVCAEq0</a>—@TPS_ParkingPal
.<a href="https://twitter.com/canadapostcorp">@canadapostcorp</a> - issue tick for 150$ in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> lane driver says he is staying bc already gave ticket. Ask to move around corner. Told no. <a href="https://t.co/pjD1cNfAQH">pic.twitter.com/pjD1cNfAQH</a>—@TPS_ParkingPal
But Ashley says his presence helps deter people from breaking the law, which would cost them $157 by the end of the encounter.
As a result, Canada Post drivers are now expected to find a safe location to park for pickups or deliveries.
"Canada Post understands the concerns raised regarding safety and bike lanes in Toronto," the Crown corporation said in a statement. "As a result, we are instructing our employees to not park in bike lanes in the City of Toronto.
"If a safe parking location is not available, our employees are expected to avoid the stop, continue on their route and return any undelivered items to the depot."
Drivers are told to report any problem areas to their supervisor so a safety assessment can be done to find the best alternative.
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On Tuesday, Mayor John Tory applauded Canada Post for listening to the concerns.
"By adjusting deliveries and drop-off locations, Canada Post showed the impact that an effective partnership can make when it comes to fighting congestion," Tory said in a statement. "This decision will help make the commute safer for cyclists."
Dupont is already 1 lane. My bike doesn't have an airbag. Your driver does. He also told me to use common courtesy to let him off. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/BikeTO?src=hash">#BikeTO</a> <a href="https://t.co/sy7Qj81wgV">pic.twitter.com/sy7Qj81wgV</a>—@TPS_ParkingPal