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General cycling issues (Is Toronto bike friendly?)

W. K. Lis

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Chicago Has a New Way to Stop Drivers Who Misuse Bus and Bike Lanes
The next time a Windy City parking aide sees a driver idling in the BRT lane, they'll have a new tool to make the scofflaw pay.

From link.

It’s great that the city of Chicago has been building more bike and bus lanes in recent years, but the fact that motorists often drive, stand, and park in them with impunity makes them a lot less useful. And with the rise of ride-hail and the on-demand economy, it’s becoming increasingly common for Uber, Lyft, and delivery drivers to illegally use the lanes for picking up and dropping off passengers and packages. So the city’s January announcement that traffic aides would ticket motorists in the new bus lanes on Western and Chicago avenues during rush hours was an encouraging development.

Today there was more good news, as Mayor Lori Lightfoot introduced an ordinance that would allow parking enforcement aides to photograph vehicles parked or standing in bus and bike lanes and mail a ticket to the owner, even if the scofflaw drives off before there’s a chance to give them the ticket in person. As reported by the Chicago Sun-Times’ Fran Spielman, Lightfoot is pitching the legislation as a strategy to help relieve downtown congestion, speed buses, and stop transit ridership bleeding. That’s exactly what this initiative would do, although surely city officials won’t mind getting the additional ticket revenue. (While parking meter income generally goes to Chicago’s hated parking concessionaire, the city keeps parking violation fines.)

This new initiative might raise concerns that it could contribute to the problem of Chicago traffic tickets disproportionately impacting lower-income residents. According to WBEZ/ProPublica investigations, in the past, citations, late fees, and driver’s license suspensions have trapped many poor and working-class Chicagoans of color in a debt spiral that has led to job loss and bankruptcy.

However, last month Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker, with Lightfoot’s support, signed a law banning license suspensions for non-moving violations and reinstating 55,000 licenses suspended for parking violations. Chicago City Council has also passed legislation to reduce driver fines and expand payment plans for parking infractions. Those changes will help mitigate any negative equity impacts of the additional bus and bike lane enforcement. Income-based fines and diversion programs, such as the option of attending traffic school in lieu of paying a fee, would further improve equity.

An illegally parked SUV blocks the Kinzie Street protected bike lane. Photo: Steven Vance

According to the Sun-Times, as it stands a driver can avoid the $60-to-$150 fine for parking in a bus or bike lane by driving off while the ticket is being written. The new ordinance would allow aides to photograph the violation and mail the citation and photo evidence to the license holder within 30 days and no later than 90 days after the secretary of state’s office provides the identity of the vehicle owner to the city. That window expands to 210 days for leased vehicles.

“There’s so much of this [bus and bike lane blockage] in the central business district area,” city comptroller Reshma Soni told Spielman. “We’re trying to do whatever we can to curb congestion. And it’s a safety issue as well. People are opening doors in bike lanes. Also in bus lanes. Accidents are happening. We’re trying to rectify that.” She added that keeping bus lanes clear will help buses stay on schedule and encourage more transit use.

“We have a safety issue,” Soni told the Sun-Times. “We have a congestion issue. We can’t make it easy for people to just run away from this and commit the same offense over and over again. People are not inclined to come downtown if you have all of these congestion issues. We’re hoping this will curb some of that.”

Kudos to the mayor for taking this step to help keep people on bike safer, and make bus travel more efficient and appealing. Assuming the ordinance passes the full City Council, the next step is for Lightfoot to follow through on her campaign promise to “work with state legislators to permit fair camera enforcement of bus lanes,” as cities like New York have been doing for years.
 

Admiral Beez

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Chicago Has a New Way to Stop Drivers Who Misuse Bus and Bike Lanes
The next time a Windy City parking aide sees a driver idling in the BRT lane, they'll have a new tool to make the scofflaw pay.

From link.




An illegally parked SUV blocks the Kinzie Street protected bike lane. Photo: Steven Vance
It's a good start, but this model of enforcement still requires the illegal car to be found by Toronto parking enforcement officers, as regular TPS officers don't care about parking violations (or much else it seems).

What we need to address illegal parking in this city is a deputized citizenry - where anyone can take a pic of the illegal car (with date and GPS location stamp), and it then goes to the city for review, and if deemed legit, a ticket is mailed. This sounds like an expensive process, so make the tickets cover the cost. It's ridiculous that in a city where a TTC fare evader pays a $400 fine, an illegal parker who may be blocking cyclists, TTC or rush hour traffic gets a $30 ticket.
 

vic

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Admiral Beez

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TPS already mail tickets for drivers that leave before they can be served directly. But yeah, as @Admiral Beez says, they still need to be found by parking enforcement officers....

Here are a few examples of them mailing tickets:



Nice. I follow PEO Urquhart on Twitter and love watching her catch the scofflaws.

What we need is a system that deputizes the citizenry, like this https://www.petrolprices.com/news/new-app-to-help-clear-up-illegally-parked-cars/

eFine rolls out in the UK by end of Feb http://alesaservices.com/
 
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Northern Light

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Good news! Some solid progress towards complete streets and bike lanes along Eglinton; also the Yonge/St Clair BIA is supportive of bike lanes on Yonge and is integrating them into their streetscape plans.


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Rendering above is Eglinton

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Rendering of Yonge NB at St. Clair
 

WislaHD

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Good news! Some solid progress towards complete streets and bike lanes along Eglinton; also the Yonge/St Clair BIA is supportive of bike lanes on Yonge and is integrating them into their streetscape plans.
Aside from the re-confirmation of support from various stakeholder groups, is there any update to the plans? Or are they still all sitting unfunded? :(
 

Northern Light

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Aside from the re-confirmation of support from various stakeholder groups, is there any update to the plans? Or are they still all sitting unfunded? :(
My impression is that:

a)Sections of Eglinton receiving total reconstruction/resurfacing, including all of Laird to Kennedy are fully funded for cycling infrastructure, as are any sections right next to new Stations, where the road has been cut and covered.

b)I believe on the balance (Eglinton west of Laird, between stations) that design work is now funded, but construction, I don't think so, will need to reconfirm. But I think there is increasing confidence said funds will be forthcoming.

c) Yonge-St Clair work may be done via BIA, Resurfacing or other works, funding there is not tied to the Eglinton project at all.
 

ADRM

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My impression is that:

a)Sections of Eglinton receiving total reconstruction/resurfacing, including all of Laird to Kennedy are fully funded for cycling infrastructure, as are any sections right next to new Stations, where the road has been cut and covered.

b)I believe on the balance (Eglinton west of Laird, between stations) that design work is now funded, but construction, I don't think so, will need to reconfirm. But I think there is increasing confidence said funds will be forthcoming.

c) Yonge-St Clair work may be done via BIA, Resurfacing or other works, funding there is not tied to the Eglinton project at all.
I'm not sure if previous Council motions would allow for the implementation of complete streets on Eglinton, but Yonge would certainly have to go to (and survive through) both committee and full Council votes.
 

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