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Beach Triangle Residents Association

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The Beach Triangle Residents Association, Toronto, Ontario

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Bicycle Lane Bylaw Sets Auto Fine

By Chris Blythe
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On February 6th 2012, Toronto City Council adopted a motion to relieve rush hour congestion due to unlawful stopping, standing and parking. One part of this motion is for the increase of the set fine for the illegal stopping of vehicles (other than a bicycle) in bicycle lanes. The fine for this offence is to be increased from $60 to $150.

To do this, the City's bicycle lane bylaw (886-8) will be amended. In order for this increased fine amount to be enforced, the Senior Regional Justice of the Ontario Court of Justice must now receive and adopt the application made by the City Solicitor. This process typically takes 3-4 months.

Understanding the Bicycle Lane Bylaw

Municipal Code Chapter 886 is the section with bylaws for footpaths, pedestrian ways, bicycle paths and bicycle lanes. Bylaw 886-8 states that bicycle lanes are for the use of bicycles only.

Toronto's bicycle lanes are installed as curb-lanes next to the sidewalk or next to parking. Where bicycle lanes are located next to the curb they are designated as "no stopping at any time. With this in mind, bylaw 886-8 is subject to a number of exceptions for people who need to access the sidewalk, including the following:

School buses while actively engaged in picking up or dropping off children, vehicles actively loading or unloading a person with a disability; ambulances, police or fire service vehicles or any other vehicle actively engaged in responding to an emergency; vehicles engaged in works undertaken for or on behalf of the City, TTC or public utilities such as those providing telecommunications, energy, water supply or wastewater related services; taxis actively loading or unloading a patron.

Not exempt from the City's bicycle lane bylaw are individuals who sit in their cars to talk on their cell phones, text, eat their lunch, or do a crossword puzzle. Persons who are picking up take-out food, or going to the bank machine "just for a minute" are not exempt. For these bike lane uses, motorists are advised to please find a real parking spot as they may be fined.

To alert Parking Enforcement of a vehicle illegally obstructing a bicycle lane phone 416-808-6600

FROM: 'Cyclometer' newsletter, Feb/12. www.toronto.ca/cycling/cyclometer/index.htm. (Cyclometer is produced by the City of Toronto - Transportation Services)