The parking enforcement officer (PEO) who’s been using social media to raise awareness about the dangers cyclists have to endure on designated city bike lanes says 90 per cent of the tickets he writes up land on the windshields of delivery vehicles.
Kyle Ashley’s twitter account, @TPS_ParkingPal, is littered with snaps of some of the biggest offenders which include corporate giants like Purolator, UPS, Fed Ex, and Canada Post with the latter being the worst offender.
Ashley’s most memorable interactions since the launch of Toronto police’s “S.P.A.C.E. to Cycle” program, a week-long initiative in June to promote road safety and target vehicles blocking bike lanes, have come from encounters with drivers from the crown corporation.
In one instance, a driver getting a ticket on Runnymede Road resorted to calling Ashley a “f’ing idiot” after his failed pleas for leniency fell on deaf ears.
In another incident, while the PEO was writing up a vehicle parked in both the bike lane and the sidewalk on a Trinity-Bellwoods roadway, a Canada Post truck pulled into a nearby bike lane, and after making his delivery told Ashley that he “cared too much about his job.”
“He saw me ticketing another car, and still pulled up over the sidewalk.”
WATCH: Toronto parking enforcement cracks down on drivers blocking bike lanes. Lama Nicolas reports.
Ashley doesn’t think twice about giving offending vehicles a ticket when doing his rounds.
“It’s everybody’s job to care about public safety, and that’s really what the message is here,” Ashley told AM640’s Tasha Kheiriddin. “It’s not just cyclists put into vulnerable situations here, it’s pedestrians and motorists get frustrated too.”
Not all post on @TPS_ParkingPal show offenders from our nation’s postal service, in a long video post, you can count 19 cyclists having to make dangerous detours on to a busy live lane during a driver stop.
Ashley said he understands the struggle delivery vehicles have in dropping off packages to customers but says there are alternative places to stop a vehicle to complete a drop.
“If you have to make a delivery use a side street or use an alley.”
Mayor John Tory, who sits on the Toronto Police board, echoed the PEO’s directives in keeping bike lanes and downtown roadways clear during peak commuting times. So much so that the mayor revealed in an official statement on Tuesday that he had reached out to the senior officer of Canada Post to address the violations seen on the @TPS_ParkingPal account.
“I have indicated this is conduct, recognizing that they have their job to do, that is not acceptable to the city of Toronto,” Tory told reporters at a Scarborough event, “When we create bike lanes, it is not with the intention that any vehicle will park there. I’ve asked him to do more.”
Tory says he will push Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders for another fall road blitz in the downtown core focusing on delivery vehicles.
“I would hate to see, but wouldn’t be hesitant to see, a mail truck towed away to Downsview or some far away location if that’s what it’s gonna take to get the attention of them, and not just them but the other companies.”
Canada Post released a statement on Tuesday confirming employees have been directed not to park vehicles in Toronto’s bike lanes, effective immediately, as the company works with the city to find long-term solutions.
All Canada Post vehicles are “expected to find a safe location to park” while completing pickups or deliveries in the city. If there is no safe parking location available, the statement said employees have been told to avoid the stop and to continue on their route with all undelivered items returned to the depot.
Problem areas are to be reported to supervisors so safety assessments can be completed to determine best alternatives to serve the affected areas, officials said.