Yes, of course disabled people need access to places, and sometimes maybe parking in a bike lane is warranted.
However, let’s not fool ourselves. Many drivers, including WheelTrans drivers, park in bikelanes when there is a totally fine and equally accessible alternative 20 feet away on a side street.
The recommendation is in a report going before the public works committee Monday. The document notes that according to city bylaws, only Wheel-Trans vehicles are currently allowed to stop in physically separated bike lanes. “This is an impediment to those with accessible permits who require barrier-free mobility from a private vehicle,” it says.
It’s already legal for drivers to stop in painted bike lanes so long as they’re “actively engaged” in picking up or dropping off someone with a disability, but the rule doesn’t apply to physically separated lanes (also called cycle tracks). Stopping illegally in a bike lane or cycle track carries a fine of $150.