Police form dedicated unit to crackdown on vehicles parked in bike lanes
A parking enforcement officer who has used Twitter to solicit tips on vehicles that are blocking bike lanes and shame corporate offenders now has two new colleagues to help him patrol the city.
Toronto police have assigned two more full-time officers to crack down on vehicles that park illegally in bike lanes. The officers will join Kyle Ashley, a parking enforcement officer who has been charged with exclusively ticketing vehicles blocking bike lanes for the last several months.
“The plan is to take an already successful program of monitoring our bike lanes and expand it and add two additional officers,” Ashley told CP24 on Friday morning. “The plan is to really help expand our coverage of bicycle networks in the suburban areas as well as provide coverage and access to officers over Twitter for immediate assistance.”
Ashley has amassed more than 5,000 followers on Twitter, in part by using the medium to post photos of vehicles blocking bicycle lanes and respond to tips from members of the public.
He has had some success in preventing vehicles from blocking bike lanes too. Last month, Canada Post vowed to instruct its drivers top stay out of bike lanes in Toronto after Ashley used Twitter to complain about a driver who parked directly in front of him and proceeded to tell him that he cared too much about his job.
Speaking with CP24 on Saturday, Ashley said that while all parking enforcement officers are responsible for keeping the city’s bike lanes clear of vehicles he and his two new colleagues, Sabrina Kloetzig and Erin Urquhart, will be responsible for a more “focused effort.”
He said that he will be patrolling bike routes in the west end of the city while Kloetzig and Urquhart will handle the east. The dedicated unit will work Monday to Friday beginning today.
“This is a focused effort for us to keep the most vulnerable people safe,” Ashley said.
The ticket for parking in a bike lane is $150.