Enforce this bike lane (please!)

Police car passing an illegally stopped car

I have another video; this one makes the point that we need better enforcement of bicycle lanes. Too often, drivers seem to think they can legally pull into a bike lane to load and unload, or to take (or make) a cell phone call. It doesn't help when police, as shown in this video, ignore infractions. They don't have to ticket every offender; just speak up and educate the drivers, or at least move them along.


I was just in TO visiting from Chicago over the holiday weekend and I thoroughly enjoyed getting around by bike. On Tuesday morning, I was riding in a bike lane near downtown (either on Jarvis or Yonge - think it was Jarvis) and witnessed an incident you would have appreciated.

A driver pulled over in the bike lane. He was immediately approached by two mounted officers who asked him why he stopped there, reminding him about the bike lane. When they learned he had car trouble, they offered options for assistance to get him on his way quickly, firmly reminding him that he could not leave the car there.

I was glad to see the enforcement. It's a big problem for us here in Chicago, where we have many more miles of bike lanes, some of which have chronic blockage issues.

You can never achieve enforcement
Even the example from the Chicago resident on Jarvis demonstrates the point
No motorist with a car that has failed mechanically would park their car on a sidewalk
They fell no compunction about doing it in a striped "bike lane"
The elevation of the bicycle lane is the same as the road and there is no physical separation to give the cue that a motorist shouldn't park there
I rode down the Yonge Street between Front Street and Queens Quay " bicycle lanes" tonight .
South of the rail corridor there were 2 delivery vehicles in the " bicycle lane"
One a Staples office supply truck the other a Canada Post vehicle
Canada Post is federally regulated and they can park wherever they like and they do.
Cabs are permitted under the bylaw to pick up and drop off passengers , for however long it takes.
We have to forget about enforcement and spend our energy on the only thing that works physical separation.

The painted line gets no respect. People do even park on sidewalks when streets are narrow, but some form of separation would go a long way.

We'd like to get physical separation/hard barriers here in Chicago for the same reason. Too many vehicles in the bike lanes: trucks (postal, Fed Ex, beer, UPS, etc.), cabs, other cars, sometimes even police. !

Nice bike rack on the car parked in the bike lane.

Separatist, separated on-street bicycle facilities cost far more per kilometre than striped ones, and they straight-jacket traffic, since bicycles can go around a disabled car in the bike lane far more easily than cars can get around a disabled car in the HCEV (high carbon emission vehicle) lanes. Bike trails attract pedestrians, some of whom promptly demand that we treat bicycle infrastructure as a sidewalk, preventing cyclists moving at effective urban speeds over about 12 kph from using them. All the same, these facilities offer the best hope of getting non-cyclists, particularly parents with legitimate fears for their children, onto the road. For this reason, I support any reasonable proposal for bicycle paths and trails, despite their manifest drawbacks. I understand that all the other proposals to keep cyclists safe, from better education for motorists, on-street lanes and sharrows, to fully separated lanes and paths, have drawbacks, but I support them where they make sense.

For this reason, I strongly object to the bad habit of denigrating measures to keep cyclists safe. If the vehicular cyclists snipe at the advocates for "door zone" bike lanes and slowpoke bike paths, bike lane advocates snipe at "macho" vehicular cyclists and "wasteful" spending on separated paths, and separatists snipe at vehicular cyclists and on-street lanes, in the end we have a three way split which ensures we will accomplish nothing. To claim that you can "never achieve" enforcement seems ludicrous in light of what my video shows: the police can enforce the lanes; too often, they simply choose not to do so.

John G. Spragge
Mariner, cyclist, pilot

Enforcement would be nice, I agree. I'm not holding my breath, though. This is just one of many possible infractions (most non-cycling related) that people rarely get ticketed (or even scolded) for.

It's not a very popular opinion, but I don't think it is reasonable to expect people not to pull over in the bike lanes for quick stops...

I wrote about it here

I'm not really an advocate for separation though either. I have come around to liking bike lanes more than when I wrote that post in 2009. Still, the way I see it, I'll take the good that bike lanes provide and just deal with the bad because, well, it isn't all that hard.