Celebrity bike lane patrol Kyle Ashley moves north as ticketing blitz ends
Jul 7, 2017 — The cycling community is wondering what the future holds for parking enforcement as the city's month-long bike lane ticketing "blitz" draws to a close.
Kyle Ashley, Toronto's celebrity parking enforcement officer, reported to police headquarters on Friday for the last time, signing off on a positive note, tweeting a letter of thanks to his supporters via @TPS_ParkingPal.
From now on, he will report for duty on the northern fringes of the city at Lawrence Avenue West and Dufferin Street before heading into the center of town to begin his ticketing shift.
PEO Ashley's impact on vehicular parking over the past month has been profound. Not only has his public awareness campaign led to fewer vehicles in the bike lanes, but it has highlighted the major safety risks cyclists confront due to illegally parked cars and infrastructure shortcomings.
Forging an open dialogue between cyclists, the city and law enforcers led to police promises to permanently assign more parking patrols in the bike lanes, although details have not yet been forthcoming.
It is also not yet clear whether PEO Ashley will be assigned a significant leadership role, perhaps as spokesperson, team leader or as a mentor to the new bike lane patrols.
Among countless accolades from the community, even Glenn Murray (@Glen4Ont), Ontario's environment minister, chimed in on Thursday to praise PEO Ashley's efforts, tweeting:
"After yesterday, a day of blocked cycling lanes, I am grateful for @TPS_ParkingPal. Can we clone him?"
Support from the environment minister followed encouragement from Toronto Mayor John Tory (@JohnTory) who earlier in the "bike lane blitz" campaign, tweeted:
"Shout out to Kyle Ashley of @TorontoPolice for his great work stopping people from parking in city's bike lanes."
PEO Ashley's efforts also brought about a change in attitude from the Beck Taxi company. Following several parking violations and an incident earlier in the week when a cyclist was rear-ended, PEO Ashley noted subsequent improvements with a public shout out:
"@BeckTaxi your driver deserves a high five. 2 days in a row...2 different co. #BikeTO #TOpoli," he tweeted from @PEO_ParkingPal.
Clearly, guidance to respect cyclists and bike lanes is now being delivered from the top to the drivers at Beck.
"Thanks for the acknowledgement! @BeckTaxi is sending reminders each day to driver tablets. #Safety #BikeTO," tweeted Beck owner Gail Souter (@GailBeckSouter) in response.
Bike lane user Rob McLarty (@RobMcLarty), who often films his journeys through treacherous downtown bike lanes tweeted:
"Hell must have frozen over indeed b/c my #biketo down Adelaide this morning at 9 was unobstructed for the 3rd day in a row! @TPS_ParkingPal."
Earlier in the week, following computer programmer George Bell's (@GeorgeBell) example of a single postage stamp, McLarty made an entire sheet of stamps featuring Canada Post vehicles blatantly breaking the law by parking in bike lanes (pictured).
Anyone can make their own stamps using a template on the Canada Post website.
Many other supportive comments can be read on Twitter and on this petition praising PEO Ashley's efforts, which has now been signed by more than 500 supporters (as of July 7 at 2:30 p.m.).
Please continue to voice your support for PEO Ashley by signing and sharing this petition.
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