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Councillor Josh Matlow to ask for higher bikelane parking fines

City Council is meeting this coming Wednesday (Sept. 21st) and Councillor Josh Matlow (Ward 22, St. Pauls) has a proposal on the agenda by substantially increasing the fine (to $500) for parking on city arterials or in bikelanes during rush hour periods.

I don’t see parking enforcement officers ticketing bikelane parkers much (but do, on occasion), but perhaps with higher fines they’ll pay more attention to the issue… and you can be sure that once a driver gets a $500 ticket for parking in a bikelane, they’ll think twice about doing it again.

From JoshMatlow.ca:

NOTICE OF MOTION: Relieving Congestion by Increasing Fines and Enforcement for Motorists and Delivery Vehicles that Obstruct Traffic During Rush Hour Periods

Moved by:  Councillor Matlow

Seconded by:  Councillor Layton

 

SUMMARY:

Traffic congestion is a significant problem for Toronto’s motorists, public transit users and cyclists. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) recently noted that the Greater Toronto Area suffers from the longest work commute times in North America. This congestion costs the region’s economy an estimated $3.3 billion per year while negatively impacting on the quality of life of our residents. The long-term solutions to this problem include building a more accessible, extensive and efficient public transportation system in addition to encouraging car-pooling and cycling.

In the meantime, council can take small, but important, measures to alleviate traffic congestion. One such measure is to provide sufficient deterrents to motorists and delivery drivers that stop, stand, park illegally or otherwise obstruct traffic on arterial roads during rush hour. Far too often, entire lanes of major roads are blocked due to an individual pulling over to grab a coffee in the morning or a delivery vehicle choosing the afternoon rush period to drop off their goods. Drivers along arterials often use bicycle lanes as a parking lane, forcing cyclists to dangerously merge into traffic. During rush hour this creates very unsafe conditions for cyclists. While currently not permitted, it is clear that current fines and levels of enforcement are not sufficient to deter such activities.

This motion seeks to improve traffic flow during the morning and afternoon rush hour periods by increasing the fines and level of enforcement for individuals that obstruct other motorists, public transit users and cyclists.

 
RECOMMENDATIONS:
1. City Council requests the City Manager to report to Public Works Committee with an implementation plan to increase fines to $500 for any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic on arterial roads and in bicycle lanes>during City designated rush hour periods

 

2. City Council request the City Manager to work with the Toronto Police Service to increase enforcement of existing by-laws prohibiting any motorist, including delivery vehicles, from stopping, standing, parking or otherwise obstructing traffic, including bicycle lanes, on arterial roads during City designated rush hour periods.

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Inconsistencies in Antiquated Bicycle Bylaws

Via TheStar.com

In downtown Toronto, cyclists caught zipping down sidewalks can get slapped with a $90 fine.

The same offence elsewhere will only cost you lunch money: In Scarborough and North York, a ticket for riding on the sidewalk is $3.75.

That odd gap, which has remained since the city’s amalgamation, highlights a problem with the bylaws that govern how we share our streets. The rules are antiquated.

“These are decade-old bylaws that were enacted when bicycles were just pedal bikes,” said Const. Hugh Smith, of Toronto police traffic services. “We need some clarification,” said the avid cyclist, who founded the Toronto police bicycle units in 1989.

THE RULES NOW

Bicycles: Drivers are expected to use bike lanes or roads. Only bicycles with tires less than 61 cm in diameter are legally allowed to use the sidewalk. Cyclists have the right to take up a whole lane if it is not wide enough to share.

Electric bicycles: The province has deemed them bicycles, not motorized vehicles. Drivers are expected to follow the same rules as a cyclist.

Motorized wheelchairs: Drivers are expected to follow the same rules as pedestrians and travel at a walking pace. Drivers are not permitted to travel on roads unless the sidewalk is unsafe, due to snow or some other obstruction. If they must use the road, they are expected to keep to the side. Drivers are not permitted to use bike lanes.

Mopeds: Drivers are expected to follow the same rules as cars. Mopeds are not allowed on sidewalks or in bike lanes.

Segways: In pilot-test phase until October 2011. They are allowed on sidewalks and roads when driven by Canada Post workers, police officers and those aged 14 or older with mobility issues.

Read the full article Antiquated bike bylaws need updating: police

Const. Hugh Smith photo via LUCAS OLENIUK/TORONTO STAR

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