The Toronto police handed out nearly 300 tickets last week as part of a crackdown on drivers who park in bike lanes.
The parking enforcement unit launched the weeklong “Right 2 Bike” campaign last Monday to coincide with the start of the annual Bike Month. According to Brian Moniz, acting officer-in-charge for parking enforcement, by Sunday officers had given out 273 tickets for $150 each, representing a total of $40,950 in fines.
Moniz said the blitz was a success. “Although the amount of infractions that we issue is one indicator of how successful the campaign is . . . the awareness and the mere presence of our officers on the network are also having an impact,” he said.
The unit normally has 50 officers patrolling the downtown core, but during the blitz added about a dozen officers who focused solely on bike lanes. On an average day, officers issue about 30 tickets for parking in the cycling lanes but that number increased to as high as 65 last Thursday.
Previous blitzes that targeted drivers who stop illegally during rush hour or misuse accessible parking permits resulted in temporary increases in compliance, but Moniz said continued enforcement is key to curbing bad driver behaviour. He acknowledged that the unit has received “a lot of complaints from cyclists,” especially via social media, about vehicles blocking bicycle lanes.
“Moving forward we’ll continue to maintain the bicycle lanes, do the best that we can in order to enforce it,” he said.
I'll never understand why they don't do that here. Politicians constantly complain that they don't have enough money, but yet they ignore this obvious revenue stream. I see multiple cars illegally parked in the same places EVERY SINGLE DAY.
I sometimes see bike cops watching the bike lanes and writing tickets. I just wish they did it more often.
I've never seen a bike cop write a ticket for parking in the bike lane, though I've often seen them ride past cars parked in the bike lane without even suggesting that they move.
I saw a Dept. of Revenue "meter maid" on a bike once. That's my dream job.
The political backlash would be too intense. The media would be filled with commentary about elite, privileged, entitled cyclists vs ordinary, good and decent citizens who have no choice but to defend themselves in this 'war on cars'. Parking in a bike lane would come to be seen as an act of defiance against Big Brother, and a blow for social justice.