It's every downtown cyclist's prime annoyance (aside from maybe getting bugs in the eyes): Finding a vehicle smack dab in the middle of your bike lane.
Whether it's an Uber driver dropping someone off, an impatient motorist trying to turn right, or a TTC bus pulling over for passengers every two blocks, there's often no safe choice for bike riders other than to simply wait.
It's another story, however, when a driver parks in a bike lane, gets out of their vehicle and just leaves it there unattended. Cyclists are forced to swerve into traffic — a move that could prove deadly — as there isn't even anyone in the driver's seat to hear their dings.
Hey @Purolator & @canadapostcorp #Toronto: REMIND your drivers that parking in a bike lane is illegal in @cityoftoronto.— Naomi (@nayonaiser) June 12, 2019
Two trucks blocked my one-way bike lane when there was AMPLE parking across the street in both instances. pic.twitter.com/BDuEP7Osov
Delivery trucks are widely known as the biggest offenders in this regard, and FedEx drivers are particularly well-represented in bike lanes across North America (though, to be fair, this could be related to the sheer size of the company's fleet.)
The issue came to a head in Toronto on Wednesday afternoon when a FedEx truck was left in the middle of a bike track on Peter Street during the afternoon rush hour.
"Numerous $150 [tickets] have been given to this vehicle but without any compliance or consideration from the driver," wrote Toronto Police Service Parking Enforcement Bike Officer Sabrina Kloetzig of the truck. "So today...."
This is @FedEx normal parking spot on Peter St in the #BikeTO cycle track. Numerous $150🎫 have been given to this vehicle but without any compliance or consideration from the driver. So today #educationthroughenforcement #NotYourLane #VisionZeroTO pic.twitter.com/qqiua1VbHZ— Sabrina Kloetzig (@TPS_pke_rider) June 26, 2019
Kloetzig shared two photos from the scene — one of them showing a tow-truck lifting the FedEx vehicle, presumably to be towed. The other showed a FedEx employee standing next to the truck.
"We expect our couriers and service providers to abide by all traffic laws during the course of providing services to our customers and address any violations that occur," said Federal Express Canada spokesperson James Anderson when asked about the incident.
"Parking in congested city locations can be a challenge, but we work hard to abide by local parking ordinances," he continued.
'"FedEx also participates in programs many cities have to more efficiently manage parking while loading and unloading shipments on behalf of our customers and we are open to collaboration with municipalities addressing this issue."
This is one of your biggest sponsors, @FedEx. This is how they drive and park with daily regularity in NYC and other urban areas: In crosswalks, blocking bike lanes. They are one of the biggest threats to my Big Kids and they refuse to adjust their business practices. #VisionZero pic.twitter.com/LHtAl2sjf4— Joanna Oltman Smith (@jooltman) June 15, 2019
Of course, FedEx is far from the only courier company annoying Toronto cyclists with its liberal interpretation of parking laws.
A quick scroll through any TPS PEO's Twitter feed shows numerous offences from the likes of UPS...
So the other day I came across this @UPS truck not only fully blocking the #BikeTO lane but also preventing these workers from repairing the Wellesley St E #BikeLane 😡 The driver was also refusing to move until he was done all his deliveries 📦 #NotCool $150🎫 served pic.twitter.com/0ggoIxLTpO— Sabrina Kloetzig (@TPS_pke_rider) May 30, 2019
2nd day in a row I’ve caught @canadapostcorp obstructing the #bikeTO lane. Today’s was on Beverley, as you can see in the photo, there’s parking on the opposite side of the street 🤦🏼♀️ $150 tag served. pic.twitter.com/eRqYUfSP5S— PEO Erin Urquhart (@TPS_BikeHart) April 16, 2019
All in a day's work, I suppose.
by Lauren O'Neil via blogTO