bike lanes toronto

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. 

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. 

And it seems his hard work paid off, because the new barriers will surely make it far more difficult for taxis, garbage trucks and regular old cars to use the lane for free parking.

Still, some Torontonians are confident select (selfish) motorists will find a way to mount the barriers or drive onto the sidewalk regardless. 

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. 

Lead photo by

Jason Paris


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