Lawyer, and former Toronto Police Services Board chair, Alan Heisey, is being supported by bike union members in calling for a crackdown on bike lane blockers. Currently the city is putting in bike lanes but enforcement is lax, effectively negating their usefulness.
A former Toronto Police board chairman wants cops to crack down on bike lane blockers.
In a letter to his former board, lawyer Alan Heisey details his run-ins with vehicles illegally parked in Toronto's bike lanes and demands the police services board order its boys in blue and the blue hornets to unleash a ticketing blitz.
"There has been an awful lot of good intentions by the city implementing a system of bicycle lanes, but as we all know the road to hell is paved with good intentions," Heisey told the Sun yesterday. "The bicycle lanes as a practical matter don't exist because they are not usable."
Along with the crackdown, Heisey -- an avid city cyclist for the past 35 years -- wants the board to consider putting cameras on the Bay St. bike-transit lanes to catch violators and increase fines to those who use bike lanes as short-term parking spots.
He also wants the board to ask police and parking enforcement vehicles to avoid stopping in bike lanes unless it's an emergency.
"It's interesting that some motorists complain about how little the bicycle lanes are used and I would say one of the reasons that that is possible is because motorists occupy the bicycle lanes on such a frequent basis," Heisey said. "It's a (bike) road to nowhere."
The police board will consider Heisey's letter and a deputation from Yvonne Bambrick of the Toronto Cyclists Union tomorrow. Bambrick said the union passed on 200 letters from its members supporting Heisey's recommendations.
While she doesn't support using cameras to catch bike lane blockers, she does want a crackdown on violators and would like to see the about $60 fine for blocking the lane to at least double.
Traffic services Sgt. Tim Burrows said parking control and police officers currently issue tickets for those caught parked illegally in the lanes.
"Most of the time ... by the time we get the call and get over there, (the vehicle) is gone," he said. "It is a problem and it is a risk to safety when someone decides they are going to occupy the lane illegally."
I think many of us have seen police drive right by vehicles parked in bike lanes. I can't see how anyone could miss them. Drive down College at any time of day and you'll find any number of taxis, Canada Post, Fed Ex and other courier trucks blocking the lane. Please deputize us cyclists and we'll solve this problem while making loads of money for the cops!