Toronto builds bike lane barrier to stop drivers from parking illegally to get Tim Hortons
The River Street bike lane — which was once dubbed the #RiverStreetCoffeeLane due to ongoing incidents of drivers parking there illegally to make a pit stop at Tim Hortons — is now safer for cyclists than ever before.
That's because the section of the bikeway at the intersection of King and River Streets, where drivers tend to leave their vehicles while making a coffee run, now has a physical barrier separating the bike lane from the road.
"After shaming on Twitter, and via other means, drivers continually using the River Street bike lanes as their free Tim Hortons parking for TWO YEARS... the City has finally listened. Thank you Kristyn Wong-Tam!" wrote Toronto resident Jason Paris on Twitter Thursday along with a photo of the newly-built barrier.
After shaming on Twitter, and via other means, drivers continually using the River Street bike lanes as their free @TimHortons parking for TWO YEARS... the city has finally listened. Thank you @kristynwongtam Kristyn Wong-Tam! #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/uFfkVfd3N8— Jason Paris (@JasonParis) May 21, 2020
Paris has been documenting the many illegal incidents that have continued to take place at this intersection since March of 2019, and he's posted countless photos on Twitter of drivers illegally parked while making a quick stop at the Timmies on the corner.
The River Street bike lane at King is constantly used as free @TimHortons parking. I’ve complained before and nothing is ever done @kristynwongtam. So everyday that I remember I’m going to now take a picture of it under the #RiverStreetCoffeeLane hashtag. #BikeTO pic.twitter.com/QgksbVhnsW— Jason Paris (@JasonParis) March 13, 2019
Still, some Torontonians are confident select (selfish) motorists will find a way to mount the barriers or drive onto the sidewalk regardless.
My friend with a balcony view is counting the seconds.— Jason Paris (@JasonParis) May 21, 2020
But most are hopeful the change will still make a substantial difference.
"Wow! Never thought I'd see such common sense here," one Twitter user remarked. "A few vehicles will likely still mount that curb to park but the vast majority probably won't: any vaguely plausible deniability of 'I didn't notice this was a bike lane' is now gone."
Toronto cyclists and advocates have long been urging the City to introduce more protected bike lanes, since they improve safety for both bikers and drivers alike, which is objectively more important than accessing free parking while grabbing a mediocre cup of coffee.
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