Celebrity ticket patrol @TPS_ParkingPal Kyle Ashley extends role enforcing clear bike lanes
Jul 14, 2017 — A public awareness campaign against scofflaw parking in bike lanes has led to a victorious outcome for cyclists in Toronto.
Campaign leader Kyle Ashley, a social media Toronto Police Services parking enforcement officer, confirmed during a CBC radio interview on Friday that he has been permanently assigned to a full time bike lane ticketing beat in the downtown core.
An additional 15 social media parking enforcement officers will also be put in place in Toronto, although it is still unclear what they will be doing and how many of the new officers might be assigned specifically to bike lanes.
This petition, which will now be delivered electronically to Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders, was initiated on July 3, 2017 to support PEO Ashley and to prevent the city's "bike lane blitz" ticketing program from coming to its predetermined end on July 7, 2017.
PEO Ashley's efforts highlighted the vast number of vehicles, including corporate bullies who park confidently in bike lanes with aplomb, often insulting cyclists who ask them to move.
Due to PEO Ashley's efforts tweeting images from his @TPS_ParkingPal Twitter account and reaching out to offenders who put cyclists at risk, fewer vehicles are parking in bike lanes.
Cyclists who send a tweet to PEO Ashley to report a vehicle in the bike lane, typically receive an empathetic response and the driver often receives a ticket.
Since the blitz ended last week and rolled over into a regular shift for PEO Ashley, the bike lanes have become less of a battleground, but concerns remain over infrastructure and cycling safety.
Additionally, cyclists continue to pressure for less contemptuous treatment by some members and sectors of society who perceive cyclists and bike lanes as an assault on their ability to speed through the downtown core and park wherever they like.
As a result of the campaign, Beck Taxi owner Gail Souter (@GailBeckSouter) began to send daily alerts reminding cabbies to avoid parking in bike lanes. However, Canada Post was reported to have continued its flagrant practice of parking in bike lanes.
Detective Constable Chris Meuleman stirred debate among #bikeTO hashtag users when he tweeted about a Coca Cola delivery truck ticketed by PEO Ashley.
"The city needs to designate side street delivery spots for them to use to deliver to the block," he said using his @IronTRICop Twitter handle.
"I don't agree with blocking bike lanes but our city has given them nowhere else to go. #bikemotto ' share the road ' fail," he added.
In a debate about police vehicles parked in bike lanes and on sidewalks, Toronto Police Services explained through their @TPSOperations Twitter account that they are allowed to contravene parking signs governing bike lanes to attend to emergencies.
"They MUST be in lawful execution of their duties (responding to call) and NOT on lunch/coffee break," tweeted @CopWiththeHair who was apparently manning the @TPSOperations account at the time.
"Even if they are on a low priority, non-emergency call, they may, at anytime, be called off to respond to life-threatening emergency," he tweeted. "It is not in the best interest of the ENTIRE population for us to search for parking, park, then walk distance to a call. "
Thank you to all who supported and signed this petition.
Picture of PEO Ashley and a Canada Post vehicle is from @TPS_ParkingPal's Twitter account.
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