Sharing the Bike Lane

Oooooh its Pooooh

In the many years that I have been riding a bicycle in bike lanes, I have had to share them with a lot of things. From rickshaws, to inline skaters, to joggers…oh yeah cars and trucks and those other things, all sorts of things.

I have become pretty tolerant to all forms of these transportations. I still give the stink eye to cars, inline skaters in the bike lane, but for the most part I have made my peace with them. I have discovered that the things I put my hands on turn and I can navigate around most obstacles, except for what I came across this morning.

I have taken to morning rides on my bike before I go to work. It’s about a 20km ride that takes around an hour. Part of the route is over the train tracks on the Sorauren bridge. This morning I almost ran over some horse poo-poo.

This could have been a dangerous and disgusting situation. Nothing worse than wiping out on some manure. Well, I only know one group of people who ride horses in the city and that be the police.

I remember one time asking a cop who cleaned up after their horses when they crapped on the road. He looked down at me from his mount, with disdain in his voice he told me, "that’s what city works is for.” Well, city works is not doing its job and the police are crapping in bike lanes, so isn't it time that we retired these horses?

The only time they are used for anything is to beat on protestors. Do we really need horses in an urban environment now that we have police who can actually ride bikes? With cuts to the city budget, the city can’t afford to clean up after the cops, so maybe we should get the horses to wear diapers, so they can stop crapping in the bike lanes. There is enough to worry about.


"The only time they are used for anything is to beat on protestors." That, and PR to hide the fact that:
- few of them know or live in the city
- they are the most expensive, most wasteful, and hardest department to cut
- police have always existed to serve the powers that be, not the mass of people they interact with
- few of them know or apply the traffic code correctly
- too many of them are tools

It's also a crap life for a horse.

That doesn't look like horse poo to me.

As far as poo goes, horse poo is clean- not nearly as stinky as other animals, and pretty dry. But then I grew up in the countryside, so maybe I'm just less squeamish than you city folk. Seriously, chill.

And if you're genuinely in danger of wiping out because of a little bit of horse poo in the bike lane, ya got bigger worries.

i ride in the strachan bike lane between king/lakeshore daily and there is always poo in the bike lanes, specifically on the east side of the street. given that there is a meat processing plant in the area, and that i see trailers stuffed with hogs regularly, i just assumed the lane was being filled with their waste. it's smaller than horse manure and looks like what is pictured here.

doesn't change the fact that it's disgusting and needs to be cleaned up more promptly, of course.

I rather like seeing cops patrolling on horse back. Nice to see them on foot too. The ones in cars are separated from the public. There's no way to chat with them. No way to connect with them.

Of course a cop on horseback isn't going to get down with a baggie every time their horse takes a dump. Asking them to is just antagonistic. The fool on the horse could have handled that better as well though, seeing as he is front line in terms of public relations.

Solution? We should be hassling the city to keep on top of the shit. We should be making positive contact with police officers and asking them how to most effectively direct our efforts to improve the situation.

A police offers are not tools and all tools are not police officers.

Correcting my comment - you didn't ask him to clean up. sorry about that. Would edit if I could.

they used to scoop up horse poo to put on their tomatoe plants and strawberrry plants in their yards, but don't know if they still do. That definately does not look like horse poo to m, unless the horse was eating at "Rotten Ronnies"!

Horse poo is generally yellowish green and very dry.

I find the comment "that's what the city is for" wrt dropping clean-up laughable. The police have been running the horses across the grassy areas in the western beaches trailing droppings. Likewise they have been using minor trails in High Park which are not maintained. If their intent is city clean up they should limit their riding to where the city performs clean up and communicate with the city about this to limit citizen exposure to their fetid sloppings.
As for horse hockey being clean how impressed would you be SunnySide1 to have it spattered up your front and back after riding on a rainy day? I can assure you it does drop the coefficient of friction when wet. Enough to challenge your ability to remain sunnyside up.
Horse droppings don't evaporate overnight. I've noted sections of MGT where they have lasted months after being deposited.

You guys are whining about totally natural bio-waste
when everyone who rides in traffic is inhaling far more dangerous CO2 from automobiles!?!
Really!? what have you been inhaling when not in traffic!?! wooh!

you were riding in the wrong place at the wrong time. sh*t happens, deal with it!
try the MGT during Caribana...try the Don Trail during a flood....try Bloor St anytime!
It could be far worse!

ride on

wet feces in the mouth,eyes or nose can lead to serious and immediate health problems.

No shit.

Horse manure was a huge problem for cities at one time. The automobile seemed like a miraculous saviour, a clean solution to the transportation problem.

These days, however, the amount of horse manure on the streets of Toronto is so tiny that it's hardly worth a note. It would be nice if the police horses could wear some sort of horse diapers (they do exist, though I don't know if long-term use produces any damage), but as long as the number of horses is as limited as it is today, that's hardly an issue. I don't necessarily support mounted police because, as mentioned above, this is a crappy environment for the horse to work in, but the horse droppings is hardly a consideration.

As said above, if you have trouble steering around some horse poop in the bike lane, I don't know how you manage to ride around the city at all.

P.S. Fenders are a wonderful thing for city riding. ;-)

my point was that maybe, just maybe, we should stick with complaining about real problems and stop whining about insignificant issues. I mean, if we'd like to get something useful done as far as cycling advocacy.

"As for horse hockey being clean how impressed would you be SunnySide1 to have it spattered up your front and back after riding on a rainy day? "

I'm skeptical that it would spatter even on a rainy day. But assuming that it would spatter, you're right, I wouldn't like it. But I wouldn't like mud either. So I have fenders. They're this wonderful modern invention. I recommend them highly.

"Enough to challenge your ability to remain sunnyside up."

Um really? You mean more than the craters that pass for potholes? Or the cars parked in the curb lane? Or the guy who just opened his door into traffic? Or the pedestrian who doesn't look before stepping out? Or one of the hundreds of genuine, common, and potentially solvable issues we face every day as commuting cyclists?

"The police do it. It must be bad. It should be punished. " And so a few insignificant piles of horse poo become piled up into a mountain of.......well, anyway.

This just strikes me as a cheap, whingeing, nit-picky shot at Authority.

I grew up in the country like some of the posters here, but the difference is that I'm not in the country anymore. I'm now stuck between cars blasting past me on the left as I approach a giant pile of poo that doesn't really need to be there. I personally don't see what the purpose of mounted police is and why it's better to be on horse rather than bike. Maybe rioting situations? I have a feeling that it's mostly because they want horses, and will come up with some thin excuses for them. Nonetheless, I don't care if they have them with just cause or not, but I do care more about how deeply disrespectful it is to the city they're protecting when they lay 10lb deuces all over it.
No other domesticated animal is allowed to do this, why the police are is totally beyond me.

While realistically the amount of poop that horses leave on the city streets is pretty negligible, it's still irresponsible and sets a poor precedent - you can bet that if I (or a dog, even) had been squatting to take a dump in the street and an officer witnessed it, they would not be thrilled. There are by-laws about this stuff.

Suggestions like horse diapers are quaint and practical, but ultimately would undermine the authority that a horse represents. As has been established, horse-mounted officers don't serve any utilitarian role that couldn't be better performed from the back of a bicycle, and pretty much exist solely for the purpose of intimidation. Hence the armour-clad modern day warhorses that appear at protests to Keep the Peace. A diaper doesn't quite project the same aura of "I will step where I want, and shit where I want, including all over you." Not to be cynical, or anything.