Hamilton looks to update bylaw to prevent vehicles from blocking bike lanes

Hamilton looks to update bylaw to clear up confusion regarding blocking bike lanes.
Hamilton looks to update bylaw to clear up confusion regarding blocking bike lanes. CHML

The city of Hamilton is looking at updating its bylaw regarding bike lanes to clear up confusion about which vehicles can park or stop in the lanes.

Downtown councillor Jason Farr says the current bylaw is more than 15 years old and needs to be updated now that the city has more 200 kilometres of bike lanes.

“The less parking in bike lanes we have the better,” he said.

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The current bylaw allows stopping by buses at transit stops, taxis off-loading or taking on riders, and anyone dropping off or picking up a person with a disability.

LISTEN: Ward 2 Coun. Jason Farr joins The Bill Kelly Show

There are also exceptions for police cruisers, ambulances and fire trucks as well as utility vehicles, hearses, and those belonging to Canada Post.

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Farr said he’s received numerous complaints from cyclists who say the lanes need to be kept clear for their safety. Farr agrees that changes are needed and he believes compromises can be reached to accommodate all sides.

READ MORE: Hamilton cyclists celebrate new Bay Street bike lanes

He points to work vehicles that may need to be parked for an extended period of time. He said permits can be issued similar to when sidewalks need to be closed for construction.

“If a lane needs to be redirected, we can issue permits to make that happen,” Farr said.

READ MORE: Bloor bike lanes a good step, but Toronto still lags behind other Canadian cities

He said other communities, such as Toronto, Oakville, St. Catharines and Kitchener, have already starting dealing with the issue and Hamilton can look to those cities for advice.