On Thursday, images of two police cars parked in a bike lane emerged on X (formerly Twitter) and the Toronto cycling community was not impressed. Police are allowed to park in a bike lane if there is an emergency, but when Karl Martin saw the officers walking toward their cars with Tim Hortons, he put two and two together.
“We always defer to them being there on emergency services as permitted under municipal by-laws, ” he added. “I am hopeful that, in the vast majority of cases, parking in the bike lane is a last resort for TPS who are otherwise engaged in important and perhaps life-saving work.”
Shellnutt said that blocking bike lanes creates a very risky situation for those on bikes.
“Because to do so without urgency means that cyclists are forced to dangerously exit bike lanes into faster-moving traffic. We have cases where people on bikes have been injured because of cars (not police, mind you) parking in bike lanes.”
The cycling advocate said that he has also seen police parking in bike lanes to pick up dinner or coffee, and that “this is contrary to the city bylaw and dangerous.”
Wonrobot replieid to Martin’s post, saying that they could have parked on the road, which would allow cyclists to still use the important infrastructure. “There are 3 car lanes in that photograph,” he posted “Why does parking always need to always be on the solitary bike lane, which is used by the most “vulnerable” road users?”
Hey @TPSOperations this doesn’t look like much of an emergency (casual coffee in hand) on University, just north of Dundas, worthy of putting cyclists at risk. Also, coincidentally just 2 minutes walking distance from 52 Division.
CC @TheBikingLawyer pic.twitter.com/dirZ18yve0
— Karl Martin (@KarlTheMartian) November 9, 2023