Toronto cyclists have much to complain about and generally aren’t shy about airing their discontent. Whether it be the scarcity of bike lanes, the abundance of potholes or simply the fact that our climate makes year-round riding nearly impossible, I think it’s only fair to provide a little two-wheeled perspective on the heels of Toronto traffic safety officer Tim Burrow’s recently compiled Top 10 list of motorist complaints.
# 10 – The close pass
Having seen a friend’s elbow shattered by a van “passing” altogether too closely, it gives me the jitters whenever vehicles don’t afford myself and other cyclists adequate space. Granted this isn’t always their fault — roads are, after all, only so wide — but it’s still a common threat cyclists face. I’m not asking for the insanely wide berth some drivers give, but it’s a little scary when a passing car brushes me with its wind trail.
# 9 – Lack of bike lanes
Directly related to #10, the lack of bike lanes on major streets throughout the city is an obvious pet peeve that many cyclists share. But it’s not just an issue for cyclists; the scarcity of bike lanes is also a pain for drivers who are forced to share the road with those on two wheels. I know it’s not so easy as just snapping one’s fingers and putting them in, but it’s obvious that we need a more comprehensive vision for encouraging the safe use of bicycles in this city.
# 8 – Cars parked in bike lanes
Boneheaded moves like this are getting a little more attention after the Toronto Sun spotted a cop car parked in the bike lane on Annette St. for 20 minutes the other day. The officer’s gotten a bunch of flak for his parking job, but the reality is that this happens all the time. Normally it’s not a huge deal, but when another vehicle and a cyclist inevitably try to pass the improperly parked car at the same time, the situation can get pretty tricky.
# 7 – Potholes
# 6 – Winter
# 5 – Other cyclists
# 4 – Car doors
# 3 – Streetcar tracks
# 2 – Oblivious pedestrians
# 1 – Sudden right turns (without signaling)
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