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Toronto Police to Crack Down on Cycle-Unfriendly Drivers

Photo: "Twice as Dangerous!" by goofibulator

If you've ever had to navigate around cars parked in the bike lane or dodge the oblivious cell-phone-yakking drivers who cut you off as you pedal along, you'll welcome the news of the "Safe Cycling" campaign by the Toronto Police. Announced yesterday, the campaign will run until Sunday, June 24. I expect many a scofflaw cyclist will receive a well-deserved ticket, but the main focus of the campaign is drivers who endanger cyclists by driving like jerks, parking in bike lanes and flinging car doors open without so much as a glance in the mirror.

All of this is swell, of course, but I can't help but wonder how come drivers are allowed to get away with this sort of behaviour the other 51 weeks of the year. Case in point: bike lane parking. A quick glance at MyBikeLane (a website documenting bike lane parking violations) or a short ride along College St. will immediately confirm that this is something drivers do quite often and get away with most of the time. This is especially perplexing given that parking tickets are a money-maker for the City. And yet the sheer number of cars I encounter in bike lanes every day suggests that the law enforcement in this case is not particularly aggressive, to put it mildly.

At any rate, perhaps our streets will become a little more bikeable, even if only for a week. It will be interesting to see whether there is any noticeable difference in how cyclists are treated on the road this week, and how soon things return to business-as-usual after the blitz ends.


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