Lower Simcoe Taxi Stand… Wait, That’s A Bike Lane!

I found these images on the blog Torypages. Looks like taxi drivers have found a new place to wait for fares on Lower Simcoe… the bike lane.

More photos here.

UPDATE: Here’s reaction from other sources in Toronto

Anger as cars clog new Simcoe St. bike lane (Toronto Star)
So, this is a cycling city? (Toronto Star)

UPDATE the 2nd: The Toronto Star is really digging in to this story!

Traffic cops powerless to enforce bike lanes

Keeping lanes clear may take higher fines and more ticketing power

three main obstacles for parking enforcement officers trying to enforce bike lanes.

One, there’s no specific bylaw. Smith can’t track how many tickets are issued to cars sitting in a bike lane because such tickets are bundled with any others handed out for parking in a no-stopping zone.

Next, the fine is too low. Last November, Yvonne Bambrick of the Toronto Cyclists Union made a presentation to the Toronto Police Services Board, asking for tougher enforcement around bike lanes.

She wants the $60 fine for cars that cross a solid white line to enter a bike lane to be doubled to $120, which is closer to the $100-$150 fine charged for parking in a fire route or a handicapped space.

“We’re told to stay as far right as possible, then we’re forced to swerve into traffic,” says Bambrick.

Her suggestions were passed on to the city manager. Councillor Adam Vaughan, a police board member whose ward includes the convention centre, says council should be discussing a bike lane bylaw by the spring.

“Ticketing is the only way to do it,” said Vaughan, who said the discussion would include the possibility of raising the fine.

Smith also sees it as a major problem that parking enforcement officers are required to ask drivers to move before ticketing them. Most will just pull away if they see an officer approaching their illegally stopped car.

The constable, who is on the Cycling Advisory Committee, thinks parking officers should have the power to immediately issue a ticket to any car parked illegally, and to have the ticket stick even if the car leaves. That’s a recommendation police have made several times to the province, which has said only that it will consider changing the “drive away” ticketing rules.

LINK (Toronto Star)

About duncan

Duncan rides bicycles in the city of Toronto and contributes to the main blog of BikingToronto as well as writing and taking photos for his blog Duncan's City Ride.

Comments

  1. That is awful! I think I’ll be sending a message to the Toronto Police Services about this!

  2. Here we go… any twitter-ites out there can “Re-Tweet” this.

  3. done and done.

  4. Done!

  5. The Toronto Star has picked up on this as well:

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/777966–forget-using-that-new-bike-lane-it-s-full-of-cars

    On Wednesday, a uniformed police officer ushered taxis into the convention centre parking lot. He didn’t chastise them for clogging the bike lane, nor for idling, which carries a fine up to $5,000.

    When the Star asked him to clear the bike lane, he said he couldn’t, but that he’d “call someone.”

    Minutes ticked by. A cyclist stopped to make the same request. The Star and the cyclist stood there, waiting.

    “I’m pissed off and frustrated,” said the cyclist, Daniel Hall. On his way south to the ferry docks, Hall was attempting to use the lane for the first time. Instead, he found cars backed up all the way from Bremner to Front St.

  6. I was really disappointed by this on Monday. I thought I’d take this snazzy stretch car-free down to Queens Quay, but lo and behold.

    311 requested that I phone parking enforcement (416.808.6600) or the by-law enforcement for the area (416.338.0800) next time I saw the behaviour.

  7. I can’t get the Star article to load. Anyone else having trouble seeing it? :)

  8. I seem to remember someone with “I [heart] bike lanes” magnets that they would stick to cars taking up bike lanes.

    The city should install temporary bollards (like we’ve got in Montreal). Works like a charm.

  9. Sorry, I didnt see it there already, this story that is.

  10. No worries, SD. :)

  11. Here is what seems to be the updated link to the Star story (courtesy of SD-B59):

    Anger as cars clog new Simcoe St. bike lane

  12. I’m so mad about this. Imagine all the bs we would have to put up with if we got in the way of taxi’s? You ever idle just a second longer at a red light in front of a taxi? Honk like crazy don’t they? Ya.

  13. Thanks for the new link SD and Joe.

    There wasn’t a photo in yesterday’s Star article. I really like how there’s a UHaul truck parked on the sidewalk to the left of the cabs. It’s as if he came expecting ample parking in the bike lane and decided to take parking annoyance to a whole new level.

  14. Great article Duncan nicely executed as well.

    Joe I like your Twitter retweet link two clicks and your done.

    Re-Tweet” this.

  15. I would love to see a convoy of bikes with air horns lining up with the taxis. “Road hog!”

  16. Looks like the star article is no longer up

  17. I just updated this post with a link to another Toronto Star article on the issue and why police are “powerless” to enforce no parking in bike lanes:

    Traffic cops powerless to enforce bike lanes

  18. why arent our existing bike lanes painted wider than the norm? a 10 to 12 inch painted lane is much more visible and more noticible to drivers when they drive. In that case why dont they paint the bike lane dividing line a different color all together?

    its only paint!

  19. That’s a good question Xander. I’m assuming that they just use standard line-painting equipment? There must be gear for painting wider lines though… like the thicker lines in crosswalk markings…

  20. When I encounter cabs parked in the bike lane I ride up behind them and bump into their rear bumper (just hard enough to get their attention) then when they come out to look for damage, I say sorry I was looking behind me to see if it was safe to pass, some asshat parked in the bike lane which is clearly marked no stopping! Are you aware that you can get a $65 fine? No, then you better move cause I just called the cops! They usually move.
    Sometimes I just park beside them to explain it to them and say , how long do you think that I can stay here blocking the car lane before a cop shows up and gives you a ticket for parkingin MY lane? Beck cabs hate me!

  21. why can’t we park our bicycles in front of or in the back of parked cabs in the bike lane? After all it is a BIKE lane for Bikes?!? Lets see those dummies move to get around all the parked bikes?

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  2. [...] The brand new Simcoe Street Bikelanes are unusable, because cabs are using it as a taxi stand. [...]

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