The paint on the Simcoe "cycle tracks" has dried but city staff are holding off on adding barriers (what makes a cycle track a cycle track) because Transportation Services believes enforcement and signage will do the job. They firmly hope that this will be enough to "stop to illegal bike lane parking once and for all" (and ignore other good reasons for barriers).
But reality crashed the party.
Dan Egan, Manager of the Cycling Unit, telling a driver that the fine is $150 for stopping in the bike lane.
East side of Simcoe, south of King: in front of St Andrews Church. I see a sign telling drivers that stopping is verboten. But where's Dan to explain the finer details?
Car blocking the southbound Simcoe traffic lane right next to available parking. Seriously, they could have just parked right next to it and it would have been totally legal. But with no physical separation I can understand why the driver is confused.
Transportation Services would rather not have to deal with bollards: they wear out, get banged up and have to be replaced. And they make it necessary to use smaller snow plows to keep the bike lane clear. They'd rather not put in the extra work to keep cyclists safer. So they want to run an experiment (and be the only city in the world with cycle tracks protected with nothing but paint):
“We’ll be taking a good accounting of what level of enforcement it takes, what resources, what time, and what number of tickets are given out. We’ve always had anecdotal evidence, but we’ve never had anything scientific.”
Nothing scientific? What about the last twenty five years of bike lanes? Is that not enough to convince you that enforcement doesn't work? Every year the cops would conduct a ticket blitz in the spring. Didn't make one iota of difference in driver behaviour.
“There’s some people who think we don’t always need to put physical separation, that a higher fine and better markings and enforcement will do the job,” Egan said. “We may gradually add other separation devices, but we want to see how this works first.”
"Some people"? Were they born yesterday? It would either take diverting cops from other areas or hiring more cops; cops dedicated to bike lane enforcement. About as likely as Rob Ford going cold turkey.