Bicycle lanes snake throughout the greater Boston area, with the purpose of providing a safe space for cyclists to navigate city streets. Unfortunately, many motorists fail to respect these lanes, choosing instead to use them for parking.
At best, this is inconvenient for cyclists. Worst case scenario, however, it can be extremely dangerous, as it gives Boston bicyclists no other choice but to merge quickly into active lanes of traffic, significantly raising the risk of a crash.
Whether motorists don’t understand or don’t care about the implications, it’s a serious problem and some communities are taking action. Specifically in Toronto, Canada, the city’s parking enforcement unit has begun an enforcement action coined a “bike lane blitz.” A full-time officer will be dedicated to enforcing bike lane parking violations. The officer is in charge of bicycling throughout the city, ticketing violators $150 a pop. The officer is also responsible for bike lane safety outreach and education, some on social media and in driving classes. However, the officer vows to issue a citation to every bicycle lane blocker he crosses. Continue reading