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posted on March 04, 2009

10 e-mails in March

Bike Ticket

D.L. wrote:

> Hey All, > > Just wanted to give cyclists a reminder to please come to a full stop at stop signs. Jason got a $110 dollar ticket for not coming to a full stop on his bike on Brock this morning. The officer also told him that he should have given him additional tickets for not having his light on the front (bright sun this morning, he did have his rear one on) and not having a bell! >

> I'm not trying to start a debate here about whether he needed to come to a full-stop at 7:30 AM on Brock at Shirley Street, I just wanted to remind others who are taking their bikes out again, like J. did first time this morning:-( >

> D. > > PS. Last year I witnessed many people bikes and cars get stopped at Brock and Frankish, too, another hot spot.

N.L.:

I was pulled over last summer for not doing a full stop at a 3-way stop on Douro St. The officer also threatened to take points off my driver's licence too.

I went to court to set a date. The person setting court dates told me that I would be let off because the officer forgot to write the date of the infraction on the ticket. But I just got a court date in the mail yesterday so I'm going to have to go through the whole process.

These crack-downs really don't do much to encourage cycling. And yes, it can be dangerous for pedestrians if cyclists fly through stop signs. But ultimately I don't think aggressive police action is the answer. It wastes time and money that could be focused on real crimes.

So my advice is to go and set a court date. And if you search on our listserve last summer when it happened to me people had great advice.

M.B.:

For demerit points on a bicycle.... if you are issued a ticket on a bike then you should make sure the cop writes bicycle on the ticket....

see this link:

Wait a minute: no demerit points for cyclists

By: Tino
Published: June 18th, 2008
Source: http://www.ibiketo.ca/node/2311 Well, well. Toronto's finest have been known to lay some dumb charges against cyclists over the years. Like the infamous tickets for not putting your foot down when stopping at a stop sign. Now, for many years, I have heard lots of reports about them trying to hand out demerit points to those cyclists who had a driver's license while handing out tickets. I think not. Read below and please contact Advocacy for Respect for Cyclists if you have been treated that way over a traffic ticket while riding your bike.

The following is the official word from the City about this issue:

Correction: The June issue of Cyclometer contains incorrect information about the Highway Traffic Act as it applies to bicycles. We apologize for the error. Please note of the following correction:

The HTA defines bicycles are defined as vehicles. As vehicle operators, cyclists are subject to most of the same HTA requirements as drivers of motor vehicles. However, there are some important differences. The application of demerit points is an important difference.

According the the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, "the demerit point system only applies to certain offenses committed in a motor vehicle. However, I understand that on rare occasions demerit points are in error assigned to the driving record of an individual for an offense committed on a bicycle. When the Ministry of Transportation is notified of such occurrences, the error is immediately corrected." (1993 letter from Ontario Minister of Transportation to the Chair of the Toronto Cycling Committee)

''We continue to hear that cyclists are being charged with demerit points in error. If you are being given a summons by a police officer ask them to clearly indicate that the "vehicle type" is "bicycle" on the Provincial Offenses Notice. If the notice is submitted to the Ministry of Transportation without a bicycle being indicated then it could be mistakenly coded as a motor vehicle offense.''

Note: Some of the fines listed in Cyclometer were also incorrect. The fine for running a red light on a bike or motor vehicle is $190. Bikes are required to have a front light and a rear reflector beginning a half hour before sunset until a half hour after sunrise.

For more information on the fines for cycling offenses Visit http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/pdf/hta.pdf

March 9, 2009:

Bikes on Brock

F. M. wrote

Imagine my surprise about 10 minutes ago, seeing 2 bike cops cruising down brock without even slowing down the slightest bit upon crossing every single stop sign! Wish I had my video camera... then i remembered that my phone can shoot video... d'oh.

C. J. wrote March 10, 2009:

All joking aside I love your idea. I think the police bikes should have a siren on their bike. I agree they shouldn't be able to just bike right through the stop signs. Anyone good at designing and building prototypes?

A friend of mine in Chicago uses an air horn attached to his handlebars instead of a bell because it gets car drivers attention.

I'm sure the cops could use something like that, coupled with some bright flashing LED's on their helmets to act as a signal if they are racing somewhere.

Something like this: http://www.safetycentral.com/ecoblasrecai.html

March 10, 2009
J. B. wrote

Hello everyone,

I'm sorry, this is my third email of the day but I just came from the Westend Bikeways meeting at the Parkdale Library and I thought I would share my findings. The city of Toronto has made Brock Ave one of their 7 new initiatives for bike routes in the westend. The proposal is to make it a signed route, with actual bike lanes under the bridge. This should take place within the next year. And, no, they will not be taking away any parking. Phew.

I asked the engineer on hand why there was no bike lanes proper considered for Brock, and the answer I got was that it was not wide enough and would take away parking. I suggested a bike lane going northbound only since there is no parking on the east side for the whole stretch of Brock. He hadn't thought of that as they normally try to put bike lanes on both sides, but it seemed as though he thought it was a good idea and wrote it down. My reasoning for pushing for more bikes along Brock is to slow down and deter cars from travelling through. With the Dufferin Jog being fixed this year, and these new biking initiatives, let's hope we'll see less or at least slowed down traffic.

I also talked to 2 others from the city about putting a bike bridge over the tracks at Lansdowne. It's not part of the plan right now, but other bikers at the meeting seemed to think it was a good idea.

March 11, 2009
A. D. wrote:

Hi J. thanks for the update. I was hoping to go to the meeting, but was at home with our two kids, so I really appreciate getting some info. Anything else you can fill me in on? Who was there from the city? Where else can I get info about the plans for bikes? I love the idea of a bike and/or pedestrian ovepass going over landsdowne!

J. B. wrote:

For more information about some of the plans the city has bike bike routes check out this document. http://www.toronto.ca/cycling/public-consultations/pdf/west-end-bikeways-november2008.pdf. It maps out the key routes. Last night they had more specific information about how these routes were being handled. Perhaps you can email them and ask for a PDF.

I'm not really sure who I talked to from the city. I think the engineer I talked to name was David Dunn. I also talked to a really nice guy named Matthew. Actually everyone from the city there was very nice and helpful. They are trying to move ahead as quickly as possible on these routes, specifically the ones that don't have actual bike lanes as they don't need to go to council.

For those interested in trying to get a bike bridge over Lansdowne, I say we need to pressure Metrolinx as well as the city. I'm not too sure when the rail expansion construction will start but this would be a good project to throw in with that construction. I emailed Giambrone's office last year about it and they said it would cost millions of money the city didn't have. Perhaps with the changes along the railline, new possibilities will open up.

After talking to one woman from the city last night, I know for sure that the plans around Lansdowne/Dundas for the railpath haven't been solidified -- she said it was one of the problem areas.

You can email: bikeplan@toronto.ca (subject line - west-end bikeways), Brian.Peltier@metrolinx.com (he met with the railpath group about extending railpath south of Dundas). I would also recommend getting on the railpath mailing list railpath@yahoogroups.com and drumming up some interest there.

March 12, 2009, 2 e-mails

M. M. wrote:

Hello, There's growing discussion in the Brockton neighbourhood about the Railpath bikeway, Toronto's Bike Plan and Metrolinx's mandate to plan for active sustainable transportation. The West Toronto Railpath south of Dundas provides a fantastic opportunity to knit together Toronto's bikeway network and engage the community in a meaningful way. I'm wondering out loud if a joint community working group may be of some value to the planning processes underway by the City and Metrolinx?

Click on map to enlarge it


Railpath Bridges

Attached is a quick map showing some key opportunities. Strategic investment in the Railpath bridges could create:

- linkages with proposed bicycle lanes along College, Argyle and High Park and with minor bicycle routes along Brock, Sorauren, Dundas and Lansdowne

- access to the Railpath at Dundas, Lansdowne-Sorauren and Brock so that the Railpath can become a bicycle highway through the city and allow for both local and regional cycling.

- easier access to amenities such as community centres, a major grocery store and schools which will help to reduce automobile trips. In particular, the bridge (or bridge/tunnel combination?) connecting Lansdowne, the Railpath and Sorauren would greatly improve pedestrian and cyclist safety crossing Lansdowne to the grocery store while providing a much more convenient option to get to the summer farmer's market, recreation and new community centre at Sorauren Park.

The bridges provide a huge opportunity BUT also a huge technical (and financial) challenge. I would suggest that the overwhelming energy and creative talent in the neighbourhood could generate some practical and fresh design ideas to help make the big moves happen.

Would there be any interest among Metrolinx and the City to create such a working group?

M.M.

(*note: full disclosure, I would have a potential conflict of interest participating in such a process since I work for the City... but as a resident of this neighbourhood I just wanted to make sure that the great ideas I've heard at the recent open houses are filtering up)

P. F. wrote:

Having an integration between the Railpath and the city street grid is very important, as this will ensure its greater use, convenience and safety. Your map clearly shows these great opportunities. However even more important for the safety and usability of the Railpath would be the electrification of the rail line from the start, especially considering the massively increased volume of rail traffic once the GO expansion and the Union-Pearson link is complete. I welcome the possibility of a working group to give input to Metrolinx, and electrification would have to be at the top of the agenda. I'm hard pressed to imagine spending much time in the existing corridor with diesel trains going past every seven minutes.


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Content last modified on March 13, 2009, at 09:10 AM EST