A photo of cyclists.

InsideToronto file photo
Cyclists ride along the Dawes Road bike lane, south from Victoria Park Avenue.

An enforcement blitz by Toronto Police Services yielded an average of 30 additional tickets issued to drivers blocking city bike lanes, although the number could have actually been double or even triple that.

Parking enforcement officers officially wrote up 273 tickets during the one-week Right 2 Bike campaign that ended Sunday, June 5. No specific location details were available, but police spokesperson Brian Moniz said the 100 additional uniformed officers, working out to 12 extra personnel per day, were stationed mostly at downtown bike lanes from morning until approximately 10 p.m. He admitted the official numbers pale in comparison to the number of drivers who were able to speed off without receiving, in some cases, a $150 ticket for blocking a bike lane.

“It’s a cat-and-mouse game we have to play (with offenders), said Moniz Tuesday. “The biggest challenge is vehicles where the drivers can just leave and we can’t serve the ticket.”

While individual motorists would likely be deterred by the relatively high cost of receiving a ticket, Moniz said by far the biggest violators are taxicabs and delivery trucks. For the latter, he said a ticket is just the cost of doing business.

“There is a large contingent of companies with total disregard for bike lanes,” he said.

Beyond posting pictures on social media of offending vehicles occupying city bike lanes, whether they’re the painted versions or fully separated, Moniz said there’s not much that can be done since enforcement officers have to physically attach a ticket to a vehicle to make it legal. He hoped the numbers will change when new bylaw changes come into effect allowing for the mailing of traffic tickets.

Another enforcement blitz is planned for later this year.

Source: InsideToronto.com