running toronto

People in Toronto keep running in bike lanes and these are the rules

Between social distancing, patios spilling out onto the sidewalk, and a large amount of Toronto residents ready to explore the outdoors again, there's been an influx of joggers running along bike lanes.

While biking in Toronto can already be very dangerous, the addition of pedestrians into an area that is supposed to be reserved for cyclists adds an extra layer of chaos to cycling through the city.

Currently, city bylaws require that all business operators with patios ensure appropriate clearway on sidewalks at all times. However, many restaurant owners do a questionable job of enforcing this rule requiring a runner to sometimes step out into the road to avoid a large crowd.

"Roads, bikeways and sidewalks are public spaces that are intended to serve different functions for different road users. And the safety of those using them is a priority for the City," explained a representative for the City of Toronto to blogTO. 

"For the safety of those on bikes and driving, as well we as those jogging or walking, it's recommended that any pedestrian entering a bike lane or road proceed cautiously and use the road/bike lane space temporarily,  before returning to the adjacent sidewalk. It's also important that people driving and biking watch closely for pedestrians and always travel cautiously and at safe speeds."

While there are no official rules against pedestrians stepping into bike lanes, those who are seen doing so for an extended length of time could find themselves in violation of Toronto's Steet Use By-law which prohibits fouling, encumbering and obstructing streets.

Lead photo by

Toronto Papi


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