Bike Month aims to enforce city's bicycle lanes; kicks off with 'Bike To Work' day
Rachael D'Amore, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, May 30, 2016 12:48PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 30, 2016 2:05PM EDT
Toronto police are launching “Right 2 Bike” -- a week-long campaign aimed at the enforcement of bicycle lanes in the city.
The enforcement campaign, which is scheduled to run from May 30 to June 5, will involve parking enforcement officers, members from traffic services and officers from division units.
In a statement issued Monday by Toronto police, it is noted that over 17,000 tickets have been issued for bicycle-lane offences to date.
“The city has dedicated significant resources to the development of bicycle lanes and is focused on the expansion of the bicycle transportation network within the City of Toronto,” the statement reads. “The illegal parking of vehicles in bicycle lanes deprives cyclists of their personal safety and impedes the orderly flow of bicycle traffic throughout the city.”
The statement goes on to say that newly enacted bicycle lane by-laws have “significantly increased” the penalties for bike lane related offenses, from $60 to $150.
“Right 2 Bike” comes on the heels of the 27th annual Bike Month in Toronto, which began on Monday with a ‘Bike To Work’ day.
Toronto Mayor John Tory participated in ‘Bike To Work’ day on this morning where he said that the city must work on connecting a network of bike lanes to “fill in the gaps” for those who want to cycle.
"We want to make the investment so we have a high enough quality (and) complete bike infrastructure over time. You can't do it immediately but we want them to have that option, do some good for their own fitness and protect the environment. So I think it's a win, win, win," Tory told CTV Toronto.
“I think that is going to move Toronto forward in terms of being a city of the 21s century when it comes to transportation options,” Tory told CP24.
Some cyclists said the city has come a long way in terms of recognizing the necessity of bicycle lanes but that there is still a long way to go.
“They can always do better, but we’re very far behind compared to other cities,” one cyclist said.
“The biggest thing now is education for cars,” another cyclist said. “When people park in bike lanes, that’s a problem.”
The city will celebrate Bike Month through organized bicycle rides, races, tours and festivals.
Earlier this month, the city released a report that proposed a 10-year plan to create a network of new bike lanes across the GTA. The report proposed the addition of 525 kilometres of new bicycle lanes to the existing 560 kilometres of lanes and routes.
The city is working toward a 10-year plan to complete the expansion.