There was a very interesting report on the CBC website yesterday about a parking enforcement officer in Toronto (Kyle Ashley) who had succeeded in getting Canada Post to announce that its vehicles will no longer park in bike lanes while making deliveries in that city.
Kyle Ashley took to his Twitter account to highlight Canada Post’s bad habit of parking in bike lanes. Apparently, this was enough to goad the crown corporation into making a promise to adhere to the law.
When I read this, I asked myself does this promise only apply to Toronto? What about Ottawa and the rest of the country? I was thinking about posting about it, but went cycling instead.
Well, David Reevely, a columnist with the Ottawa Citizen (and avid cyclist) has come up with the answer. Canada Post’s promise only applies to Toronto. In other words, it seems that in Ottawa and the rest of the country, Canada Post will continue to break the law by parking in bike lanes.
Also, by exploring the fine print of their promise, David Reevely has discovered a very disturbing ploy by Canada Post to make it more difficult to establish bike lanes. Canada Post says that instead of parking in bike lanes, its employees are now expected to find other “safe locations” to park in. However, if none are available, it will simply not deliver the package. I can just hear the howls the next time Toronto attempts to install a bike lane. People will be up in arms against the bike lane not only because of the possible loss of their precious on-street parking spots, but because it also denies them package delivery service by Canada Post.
Lets get one thing straight. There’s always a safe parking spot somewhere. What Canada Post is really saying is that if there is no parking spot that is close enough, or convenient enough, it will not deliver the package.
Their position about the availability of a safe parking location implies that bike lane are in fact a safe parking spot. This begs the question, safe for who? For cyclists? I don’t think so.
Update: A spokesperson for Canada Post now says that its promise not to park in bike lanes applies everywhere, and not just Toronto. For more details, see the story in Metro News.
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