Set an Example; Stop for Open Streetcar Doors


Toronto Police Services are currently handing out warnings to drivers and cyclists who fail to stop for open streetcar doors.

I’ve seen some people on bikes coast by open doors in the hopes of passing streetcars and getting ahead of traffic. While illegal this behaviour is also incredibly rude. People often rush when leaving or trying to catch streetcars and even a small collision with one of these people is going to completely negate the few seconds you’ve saved trying to pass a loading streetcar.

My advice, stop at the rear of the streetcar and position yourself in the middle of the lane. Anxious drivers are going try to blow past a streetcar once those doors close and you do not want to be caught in the squeeze.

Completely unrelated photo, although it involves cyclists and a streetcar during a 2007 Critical Mass, by Leanne Eisen via the BikingToronto Flickr Pool


  1. Why not? It looks like (pic) they stop for critical mass rides. ;)

  2. I was on this Critical Mass ride (it may have been the one I met Todd on)… and I may have been on 1 or 2 since then… but this one soured me on the experience a lot.

    The Mass held up this streetcar for at least 15-20 minutes… people sitting in front of it to prevent it from moving.

    If anything, Critical Mass should celebrate and embrace transit users… they are using public transit instead of clogging the streets with cars.

  3. The mass probably should have just let the streetcar go, but he was being very aggressive. There is a tendency among the group to use the mass as a time to stand up for each other, so when he started trying to push through, a bunch of people pushed back.

    Regardless of what the blockage was in front of the streetcar, the driver shouldn’t have been trying to push through it.

  4. Oh, I’m sorry for the late response, but at this particular mass, the streetcar was only held-up for around one or two cycles of the traffic lights (maybe 2-4 minutes).

    I should know, I took the picture ;)

  5. I wasn’t there, so although I sussed what was going on in the photograph, it was a guess.

    I agree with Joe on this. Getting into a fight with a street car driver who is part of the traffic congestion problem, (road rage) a problem cycling helps to relieve, plays the wrong message.

    The neo-cons want to gut public transit and rip out bike lanes in favour of big oil’s individual car transportation model. Cyclist rage nullifies the message that not only do we take up less space but we are healthier human beings, both mentally and physically, because of the exercise we get.

    I stopped taking arterial roads as much as possible because, after 3 years of messenger-ing (where you have no choice you HAVE to take the arterials most of the time), I didn’t like who I’d become, a main arterial asshole; like the transit driver in the photo. :)

  6. Thanks Cyclops/Leanne for the info on how long the streetcar was held up… I guess I may be remembering incorrectly.

    I remember being near the back of the mass and seeing the streetcar stopped when I was still a long way north of College… and I remember being at the streetcar for at least a couple of traffic light cycles.

    It *was* a long time ago, and I could be remembering incorrectly.

    I do still say that Critical Mass should go out of it’s way to show the TTC and TTC riders much love, if it is following an anti-car philosophy (I understand that some CMs are more anti-car than others, depending on the demographics of the mass). :)

  7. Wow, I don’t remember the interaction with the streetcar at all. Maybe it was a different one Joe and I met on.

    My experience with CM is that at least on the ones I’ve been on there’s been a really good relationship between riders and transit. Riders make way for the streetcars and lately streetcar operators have been waving and honking their horns (in a friendly way). It makes sense for us to respect transit – after all, these guys are getting *tons* of cars off the road and, except for a few operators, making the streets safer as a result.

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