Brand new Toronto bike lanes have already become an illegal parking lot for trucks
A brand new cycle track just installed by the city this fall has already been taken over by delivery trucks.
It's a problem cyclists struggle with all over Toronto, but the pedal-powered community is especially up in arms over egregious misuse of their freshest infrastructure upgrade, which was immediately claimed by the scourge of idling delivery vehicles.
The city just added new cycle tracks to Woodfield Road south of Eastern Avenue as part of the broader Woodfield Road-Monarch Park Avenue Project, which includes contra-flow one-way bike lane segments along the Woodfield-Monarch Park corridor for easier connections to cycling routes on Danforth Avenue, Dundas Street East and Lake Shore Boulevard.
But cyclists attempting to use the stretch along Woodfield are reporting frequent blockages by truck drivers who don't seem even slightly concerned with the rules of the road.
And it's not just one or two trucks. Countless delivery truckers have essentially annexed this cycling infrastructure as an ad hoc unsanctioned parking lot, rendering it completely useless for the cyclists it was intended for.
Holy moly @UPS_Canada. This is egregious.— NotSafe4BikesTO (@NotSafe4BikesTO) November 8, 2022
In theory this is going to be a great cycling connection to the Lake Shore, but this is obviously not working in its current state.
Woodfield bike lane south of Eastern @ParkingTPS @TPS_BikeHart @TO_Transport https://t.co/ZisUq79Tvg pic.twitter.com/VtK3TCWUww
Multiple videos are circulating on social media depicting these bike lanes packed with delivery trucks, with not a parking enforcement officer or fluttering yellow parking ticket in sight.
Author and arborist Todd Irvine is among the cyclists who have experienced the chaos firsthand and expressed his frustration with delivery drivers to blogTO.
"I was excited when the city installed the contra-flow bike lane on Woodfield road because it now provides a safe north/south route for cyclists to get to the Martin Goodman Trail along Lake Shore," says Irvine.
But he says that since it's been installed, "every time I've rode down it in the morning, I've found the section of the bike lane south of Eastern Avenue clogged on both sides of the street with UPS trucks being loaded with parcels for the day.
I just went by there. 15 @ups_canada vans parked in bike line on both sides of street.— Todd Irvine (@todd_irvine) November 8, 2022
He warns that "it is an accident waiting to happen," explaining that "illegally parked trucks force cyclists and pedestrians into the middle of the road, which is very dangerous because it is an industrial area with many transport trucks coming out of the Canada Post depot."
Irvine echoes the concerns of other cyclists who have been forced off of new infrastructure designed specifically for their safety, saying that he finds it "very frustrating that UPS is using the city sidewalk and road as their company loading dock."
"They should be loading their trucks on their own private property. If there is not enough space to do that, then they need to rent a bigger yard."
The entire bike lane on Woodfield from top to bottom is a) great in theory and b) always full of vehicles. Usually on the sidewalk too.— Joel Gilbert Anderson (@joelgilbertand) November 8, 2022
Instead, trucks are using city property, a move Irvine argues is "dangerous and gives them an unfair advantage against their competitors who are following the rules and loading their trucks in private depots. It is a bad look for UPS."
Though Irvine hopes that the city will take this mess seriously and ramp up enforcement on trucks using these new bike lanes as free parking lots, the TPS Parking Enforcement Unit tells blogTO it "does not have any ongoing complaints for this area."
A Parking Enforcement representative confirms there are "no plans in place presently to increase patrols/enforcement on this stretch. However, [we] can certainly investigate moving forward."
"If complaints are received, officers will attend to investigate and enforce area parking by-laws."
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