New provincially granted power to mail tickets to offenders should help parking enforcement officers make clear that it’s not OK to stop your car in bike lanes.
Life in the fast lane. That’s the promise Toronto’s growing network of “cycle tracks” holds out for bikers.
Sadly, the reality is far from that. Lanes that should provide safe passage for cyclists are turned into obstacle courses as unaware or insensitive drivers pull their vehicles over for quick stops. Meanwhile, everyone from couriers to construction truck drivers to mobile document shredders simply use the lanes as parking spaces.
When any of that happens, cyclists must navigate around the cars and trucks, moving unexpectedly into busy traffic, endangering themselves and slowing down cars in the regular lanes.
That’s problematic for cyclists, drivers and even pedestrians who might get caught in the middle.
How to stop it? Ticketing will get out the message. But using fines as a deterrent to keep cyclists safe and traffic flowing smoothly isn’t easy. Drivers can take off before parking enforcement officers have a chance to drop a ticket on their windshield.
That’s why a new provincially granted power for parking enforcement officers to mail tickets to offenders after simply recording their license plate number and other details is such a welcome initiative.
Brian Moniz, a Toronto parking enforcement supervisor, told the Star’s David Rider he’s confident the new system, scheduled to start in the new year, will get results. If drivers knew that even parking in the bike lanes momentarily could result in a $150 ticket, “people would get the message.”
It’s not that parking enforcement officers aren’t already trying to keep the lanes clear. Even without the new system they managed to issue 6,500 tickets for $150 apiece this year.
Still, the new system can’t come soon enough to keep bike lanes clear, cyclists safe and traffic moving speedily.
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