Today Mon Tue
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 20, 2014
Partly Cloudy
13°/5°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 11:00 PM EDT on April 21, 2014
Partly Cloudy
19°/8°
It is forcast to be Rain at 11:00 PM EDT on April 22, 2014
Rain
14°/3°

31 Comments

news

Blog Tracks Bleepin’ Boobs Who Block Our Bike Lanes

2007_08_05bikelane.jpeg
There are few things more irksome to a cyclist than a needlessly blocked bike lane. So while some people are making their own, others have created a service to help defend the far-too-few bike lanes we have already.
This is precisely the idea behind MyBikeLane Toronto. A North American network of blogs launched in 2006, MyBikeLane is dedicated to outing the road hogs and other boobs blocking the way. All cyclists who have experienced lane blocking are invited to post photographic evidence and license plate numbers, track re-offenders, and use Google geotags to record the scene of the crime.
With this year’s number of smog alert days on pace to set a new record, the city lacking response to bike lane disrepair, cyclist abuse becoming all too common, and one million cyclists clamouring for new lanes, “biking in Toronto” is quickly becoming both a punch line to any number of jokes and a tragedy of ever-growing proportions.
Yet as troublesome as the subject of bike lanes can be, it appears, at least in part, that the problem lies in the approach. While many Toronto citizens have whole-heartedly endorsed bike lanes, even a cursory review of MyBikeLane Toronto quickly reveals that the worst offenders of lane blocking are taxis, couriers, delivery trucks, ice cream vendors and postal vans. Given this, perhaps the next consultation the City of Toronto should arrange is with local businesses (and the feds)? In this vein, feedback from last week’s Toronto Cycling Consultation Session will be available August 17. In the meantime, go show MyBikeLane some love—and add your voice to the chorus demanding that T.O.’s bike lanes be protected and respected.
Thanks to Arieh Singer who emailed tip@torontoist.com with this story. Photo courtesy of Brass at MyBikeLane Toronto.

Comments

  • guest

    The only solution is a physical barrier between road and bike lane!

  • guest

    I used to agree with the previous comment: I am a cyclist, got rid of my car several years ago, and I have posted to mybikelane – http://toronto.mybikelane.com/post/index/1845.
    However, to get the bike lanes that protect us from traffic as it is, we’d need a barrier (which could be a new danger to cyclists), get rid of on-street parking, and perhaps even revisit one-way streets downtown. All of those changes are unlikely to make motorists behave more safely with their doors, or turns.
    Why do so many cyclists want lanes? To be safe, of course. I do not think lanes achieve this: because we have to interact with motorised traffic at intersections, and because the lanes we have adjoin parking.
    Cyclists ought to feel safe riding everywhere, as they do in Denmark, Holland and Japan. The way to do that is simple: police should ticket the hell out of dangerours driving and parking in the city, there should be no on-street arterial parking at all, and no right-turns on red. (See this comment).
    In short: both cars and bikes would move more easily, no one gets their bike cut-off at an intersection, cycling is normalised, and the city puts money into it’s coffers without spending anything on infrastructure.

  • guest

    Great idea!
    Now where’s the website that keeps track of “biking boobs” who ride on sidewalks, disregard traffic laws and plow into pedestrians?

  • guest

    Wish you car-driving complainers would grow up.
    I’ll agree about going on the sidewalk and harming pedestrians, but cyclists drive that way on the roads so we can stay alive. I only care about no one getting hurt when I am on a bike, not arbitrary law. Actually, I think the same way when I rent a car. Most people do, but enough car driving pricks don’t, so cyclists have to ride the way drivers complain about. When nearly all drivers do drive with due consideration of the lethality of their vehicle (i.e. the cops start handing out far more tickets) I’ll cycle in a more prissy fashion.
    Get it?

  • guest

    …cyclists drive that way on the roads so we can stay alive
    or to simply avoid having to stop, as they are the apparent saviours of Western civilization.

  • guest

    Your comment is sophomoric: I see you have not yet grown up.

  • guest

    More and more cyclists riding on the sidewalk have started ringing their bells to get pedestrians to move.

  • David Topping

    Can we please not turn this into another bikes vs. cars debate? There are dicks who ride bikes, there are dicks who drive cars. Neither group is inherently good or bad.

  • David J. Widmann

    Looks like ticketing bike lane offenders might be one way to raise a little money for the cash-strapped city. Cool. :)

  • guest

    Ticket people relative to the danger they cause to others: both bikes and cars should be ticketed, but cars more often and for more money, because they are simply that much more dangerous.

  • guest

    I ride on the sidewalks all day anyway, I don’t care about bike lines because I know it will never happen here. It’s not like there are any pedestrians in the suburbs anyway.

  • WannaBinToranna

    As a cyclist, I would have no problem paying a “bike tax” with a purchase of a bike or accessorie if I knew it were going to build lanes.
    It’s better than having my taxes go to blowing up innocent people in their homes.
    It’s funny the things we can find the money for and the things we can’t find any money for.
    Maybe disguise bike lanes as a stadium?

  • WannaBinToranna

    If I may, I’d like to direct readers to the Reading Toronto site. There is an excellent article on Bogota creating bike paths much in the same way as some other northern European cities.
    These is an excellent quote from the mayor of Bogota…
    “A protected bicycle path is a symbol that a citizen on a $30 bicycle is equally important as one in a $30,000 car.”
    - Now, we can take that a step further, and some will point out, as well as they should, that yes, a person on a $30 bicyle is as equally responsible as one in a $30,000 car. (Though I don’t think as dangerous).
    I agree with Mr. Topping, there are dickhead motorists AND dickhead cyclists, but that’s hardly going to change, when in history has there NOT been an a-hole in every crowd?

  • guest

    12: Maybe we should have corporate sponsored bike lanes?
    This would be a great opportunity for some hilarious green washing. I would love to see an Exxon – Mobil, Royal Dutch Shell or Monsanto bike lane. Equally hilarious would be the protests (that I would likely attend) against the sponsorship.

  • brokenengine

    But David, I think the comments guest have left are indicative of one of the major problems: Cyclists are increasingly blaming motorists for every little problem in the universe, and are starting to cycle more that way.
    Now, I’m not generalizing, there are plenty of good cyclists. But I’m seeing more and more and MORE assholes on bikes these days. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve seena cyclist do something stupid(cut off a car, blow a red light, etc), a car honks at them, and the cyclists gets really pissy, sometimes stopping to confront. The sense of entitlement is staggering.

  • Marc Lostracco

    I’m a cyclist, but I get really annoyed when bikes are used on the sidewalk—however, I wonder how many of those riders aren’t aware that they aren’t supposed to be on the sidewalk? Suburbanites, immigrants, teenagers, whomever may never have learned (and that includes the rules of hand signals, not passing on the right, stopping for streetcars, etc.).
    Of course, that’s not really much of an excuse, but I remember when in-line skates became popular, and bladers weren’t aware that they aren’t allowed on the road and have to stay on the sidewalk, just as pedestrians are often unaware that they aren’t allowed on the roads.
    The reason bikes are so dangerous to pedestrians on the sidewalk is the same reason cars are so dangerous to cyclists on the road: one is capable of doing disproportionate damage to the other. Bikes, however, belong on the road, and drivers need to get used to sharing—which would happen a lot faster with more of these promised phantom bike lanes.

  • brokenengine

    Agreed Marc, and I would like to state(before I get flamed), that I am NOT a motorist, am very cyCLE friendly(just not necessarily cyclISTS as stated), and that the disservice the city has done as far as bike lanes goes is a travesty.

  • WannaBinToranna

    Well, cars don’t want us cycle-enviro-nazi’s on the road becasue they don’t like it when we go through a red light that they have to sit through.
    We can’t go on the sidewalks because the pedestrians are there and they don’t like us either.
    So, unless they invent the hover-bike (and then, of course, drivers will get mad when we fly over them and pee on their windshields)…WTF would they have us do, exactly? Please, tell us. What would make cars and ped’s happy? Yes, we know, there are a-hole drivers, there are a-hole cyclists, there are a-hole pedestrians…there’s probably even a-holes in wheelchairs (now, I’ll fry)…but instead of a 3 front war of “No, you guys are a-holes!” What would you like us to do or how would you like us act/react in traffic? You want us to follow the rules of the roads, then can you guarentee that all of YOU will also? I’d say that cyclists are laying a little more of their unprotected asses on the line (road), bikes don’t come with seatbelts or air-bags (No A/C either).
    You get pissed when a cyclist runs a red light. Put yourself on a bike, at night, you’re on the side of the road, you got the lights on, you’re visible, safe, following the road rules.
    Now, some idiot buzzes by you…but that’s not enough, he yells, honks the horn, tosses something out the window at you. You wonder if each intesection will be your’ last because you can see people NOT look both ways or come to a full stop. Buses pass by so close it’s like getting your arms waxed.
    So, you tell us how to act on the road other than completely defensively.

  • guest

    this morning as I went for a short pre-work ride I was amused
    I was on the road ignoring the stretch of bike path along side of the road
    as the path is short and ends abruptly after a 100 meters or so
    I stay to the street
    but
    I was amused by the farmer’s market that had set up shop blocking the bike path
    had my camera
    considered stopping for a picture
    but
    I rolled through
    as these things are everyday
    the bike lane like the bicyclist gets no respect
    http://www.gwadzilla.blogspot
    a bicycle blog from Washington DC

  • guest

    oh sorry
    that should be
    http://www.gwadzilla.blogspot.com
    a blog worth looking at
    if you are cyclist and enjoy images and ideas about the cycling culture

  • guest

    Absolutely, ‘WannaBinToranna’. As I said, “When nearly all drivers do drive with due consideration of the lethality of their vehicle… I’ll cycle in a more prissy fashion”.
    Those that don’t get, aren’t going to get their fat ***es on a bike to get it, so ****’em.

  • WannaBinToranna

    Yeah, I’ll take whatever they want to dish out on a comment section of a blog.
    It’s a different story when the rubber meets the road.

  • brokenengine

    sigh
    nice attitudes

  • WannaBinToranna

    Watch YOUR’ life flash before your’ eyes a couple of times.
    Early summer, this year, a 28 yr. old mother was riding, on her side of the road (in other words, following the rules). She had her 3 yr. old son on the back. Broad daylight.
    A woman in an SUV coming from the opposite direction, crossed from her lane, across the line into the oncoming lane and hit the woman, head on, catapulting her 25 meters, killing her. Amazingly, I believe the child survived, now, an orphan. It was in Niagara County somewhere. His mother died, riding her bike.
    No one should die riding a bicycle for f**k’s sake.
    Do not comment on my “attitude” again.

  • brokenengine

    I have been a cyclist(was until a crackhead stole my bike, and I’ve just been using transit since). I know it can be dangerous out there. But if I think you have a poor attitude, I will comment on your attitude as I see fit.
    I don’t “do” ultimatums.

  • WannaBinToranna

    I ride to work 3-4 times a week, it’s 2 miles round trip, anytime you wanna come down and do the ride with me and count how many times someone doesn’t come to a full stop or give you any room when you are huggin’ what little shoulder there is on the road, come on down.
    No hard feelings.
    But comparing cars/drivers to bikes/cyclists is a non-issue.
    It’s only a difference of a thousand pounds.

  • brokenengine

    No hard feelings here either. I’m kind of on your side. But what I’m saying is, the outraged entitled attitude will not get you anywhere. in fact, it will only strengthen your opposition.

  • WannaBinToranna

    It’s not entitlement, but if an irresponsible car driver doesn’t say, stop at a light, or bumps into a car, it’s a fender bender and they more than likely have an airbag. Now, let’s say there is an irresponsible cyclist and he misjudges or just blatantly rides like a jerk…he still gets the sharp end of the stick so to speak and pays with a lot more. So, while it certainly behooves a cyclist to not bike like an idiot, an idiot who drives a car, I think, is a far greater danger to others. The moron cyclist is a greater threat to himself, and of course, a little Darwin applies here also. if we can’t get bike lanes, then both sides will just need to step up and be more careful and aware. There’s no room on the roads for drivers OR cyclists who feel like the other shouldn’t be on the road.

  • brokenengine

    Agreed there.

  • Anonymous

    I am happy to visit here. I hope you continue to do the sharing through the post to the reader. and good luck for the members site

  • Ewine.ph

    this is super nice. please check out http://www.rainingpesos.com.ph