Learn more about BikingToronto and Singer Kwinter

Abandoned Bikes Block Wheelchair Access

We all know that lots of abandoned bikes locked to bikeposts is a weird fact of urban life (why do people abandon their property?), and now the Toronto Star’s Fixer column is highlighting the problem on Queens Quay, where abandoned bikes are making life a little harder for some Torontonians:

Kit Jones called to say all four bike rings in front of her apartment building, on the northeast corner of Queens Quay W. and Rees St., have abandoned bikes locked to them.

Jones, who uses a wheelchair and relies on Wheel-Trans to get around, said there are so many old bikes on the rings that they’re sometimes an obstacle to accessing the public transit van.

Delivery vehicles are often parked in the same area, which limits the space available for the public transit vehicle, she said. If Wheel-Trans must wiggle into a spot near the bikes, sometimes there’s not enough room for her to get in or out.

When it’s too tight, the Wheel-Trans driver has to drop her off around the corner or use a loading dock at the back of the building, Jones said.

Do you know of other areas that are filled with abandoned bikes?

Abandoned bikes can be reported by contacting the City’s 311 dept. Give the operator an address or precise details of the location of the ring, and the information will be forwarded to an area office.

You could also log abandoned bikes on the map at SeeClickFix/Toronto, which 311 “follows”.

  • duncan

    So, Wheel-Trans is trying to drop this lady off in a no parking, no stopping zone that is cluttered with illegally stopped delivery trucks and a few bicycles are the problem here?

  • Rob

    Not to poo-poo the problem, but what if the bikes were parked legally? Duncan’s got his finger on the real problem.

  • Good point – but it’s also a usability issue (which the article doesn’t mention at all) for other cyclists. It’s sooo frustrating to bike somewhere and have lots of bike posts filled with abandoned bikes.

    I also believe that Wheel Trans has the ability to stop almost anywhere for the convenience of their passengers. I don’t know the specifics, but they do have special rules.

  • t williams

    Why do people abandone their bikes anyway there cant be that many bent wheels? P.s. do i count as a cyclist for the purpose to this forum? ive got a ebike scooter thing And dont pedal much

  • duncan

    I pass by that intersection a lot and while that one locked bike wheel has been there for months, concerning the other bikes it is hard to tell what’s a beater and what’s in “winter storage.”

    Certainly, accessibility is an issue for those with limited mobility. But the real issue here is delivery trucks. The woman states that Wheel-Trans sometimes uses the loading dock out back, which means that all of these shops most likely also have this same access and that these lazy delivery people are causing a much greater nuisance than a few bicycles.

    I was expecting to see bicycles chained to a wheelchair ramp handrail, which is both illegal and rude, when I first read the headline but even if these were short term parked bicycles the “hazard” would still exist.

    If these are actually abandoned bicycles then removing them is great as it opens up more bicycle parking for this area.

    In a related note, I always end up creating some elaborate back story to explain abandoned bicycles, but I’m sure the truth is a lot less interesting.

  • Someone should write a novel about the backstories of abandoned bicycles. Could be a good series of books.

  • It was a dark and stormy night and Cynthia the cyclist didn’t feel like riding that beater all the way up to Harbord.

    I’ll just take the Spadina LRT…” she thought to herself,

    “..then I’ll come get the bike tomorrow.”

    That night the biggest snow storm of the year hit – AND Cynthia won the Lottery.

    “Screw that old beater,” Cynthia thought,

    “I’m buying a Lexus!”

    That poor little beater bike never saw Cynthia again; and when the city worker cut through it’s U-lock the next spring that poor little beater bike was sent to a home for orphaned bikes at 14 Division, where it resides to this day with no great expectations.

    On a quiet Sunday you can her a high pitched sequel from near Dovercourt Rd. that sounds a lot like “Please Sir, may I have some oil?”, but it could be the wind in the willows; I not really sure.

    The End.

  • Sorry about the typos. :)

  • @ t williams:
    [quote]P.s. do i count as a cyclist for the purpose to this forum? ive got a ebike scooter thing And dont pedal much[/quote]
    Yes you count as a “cyclist” where your two-wheeled steed keeps you out of four wheels (and so our streets safer for the rest of us.) I can only encourage you to consider your next ebike with “better” pedals – that are easier to pedal – `cause pedaling keeps us warmer in the colder months plus you can eat more pie… Pie… Mmmmmmm…..

    The reason why so many pedal bikes are abandoned is `cause they are so cheap. Ya can pick up used bikes for less than the cost of one month of Metropass…

I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours

I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours

I Bike T.O. Shirts
available in 12 colours

Left Wing Pinko Shirts
available in 12 colours