high park cyclist

Toronto cyclist hit by police car during controversial High Park bike ticketing blitz

Toronto's High Park has devolved into a battleground between police and cyclists as an ongoing ticketing blitz targets pedal-powered commuters for speeding, generating all kinds of controversy.

The latest in a long string of run-ins between cyclists and cops involes an officer who is alleged to have run a stop sign and struck a cyclist using a bike lane in the park, mere moments after issuing another bike rider a speeding ticket.

An incident report reveals that the officer, Blain D. Young, is alleged to have struck the cyclist at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday evening in High Park. The officer reportedly claimed that the "sun was in his eyes" and was not charged.

Marni Ugar, who witnessed the incident, tells blogTO that "He ticketed many who have never hurt anyone then, when he was leaving, texting and driving — he hit my friend on a bike."

When she tried to confront the officer, Ugar says that he "wouldn't even look at me when I was talking to him. His response was, 'you're being recorded.'"

Like others in the cycling community, Ugar is tired of what she characterizes as "bullying," arguing that she "never sees speeding cars in High Park pulled over by police" or tickets issued for cars blocking bike lanes.

Ugar calls the ongoing blitz "a disgrace," adding that police should "stop this bully mentality. We are being discriminated against."

"Call these bullies off. I pay property taxes in Parkdale High Park, this is an embarrassment," she said. "Where can recreational cyclists safely go? Who is hurting people, car drivers or cyclists? The officer punishing us hits one of us."

Even when they don't have to deal with cops, cyclists are now also facing abuse from random parkgoers, including an alleged assault on Monday where a rider was knocked off their bike by a stranger after allegedly running a stop sign.

Only hours after the alleged assault, cops were right back at it, stopping cyclists and doling out tickets.

For anyone else who dares go even one km/h faster than High Park's posted speed limit of 20, you can expect a $110 ticket.

blogTO has reached out to the Toronto Police Service for comment on the latest incident at High Park, but had not yet recieved a response at time of publication.

Lead photo by

Marni Ugar

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