bloor bike lane

Toronto garbage truck seen driving over new bike lane barriers on Bloor

For all of the recent progress Toronto has made in expanding its network of dedicated bike lanes, the city still has a lot to figure out.

A large waste collection vehicle was spotted on Thursday night driving straight over the very barriers meant to protect cyclists from traffic along Bloor Street.

The garbage truck was caught on camera casually rolling over several bollards as it cruised through the brand new Bloor West Bikeway Extension, hugging the curb while its robotic arm lifted and set green bins back onto the sidewalk.

Toronto resident Craig Damian Smith filmed the vehicle flattening barriers as it headed westbound on Bloor between Shaw Street and Roxton Road shortly before 10 p.m. last night.

While the barriers could be springing right back up after the truck rolled over them, suggesting that perhaps they're meant to be run over, Toronto City Councillor Mike Layton says this isn't the case.

"I have been telling this to [City of Toronto Transportation Services] over the years, we had hoped curbs under bollards would deter," wrote Layton in response to Smith's tweet. "Sadly not. These bollards are expensive and getting wasted."

Layton says he has contacted the general managers of both the city's Transportation and Solid Waste Management divisions in an attempt to get the issue resolved.

New as the bollards seen getting rocked on Twitter last night may be, the issue of garbage trucks running them over has come up among members of the public before.

Toronto Star "fixer" columnist Jack Lakey wrote about a series of crushed bollards along Woodbine Avenue in December of 2019, quoting a reader who said he noticed the plastic flexible rods getting dirtier and more scratched-up every day.

The reader had assumed car traffic was to blame until he saw a garbage truck roll over them and it all clicked.

When asked about damage caused to bollards by waste collection vehicles, the City of Toronto was vague in its reply, stating only that "cycle tracks in Toronto must work in conjunction with other city services including waste removal."

"The method crews currently use for waste removal when working around bollards helps improve safety for collectors who would be otherwise crossing over a live cycling lane," said the City of Toronto at the time. "City staff are constantly adapting the cycling network to work alongside the service delivery of other city divisions, including solid waste collection."

Lead photo by

Craig Damian Smith

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