News / Ottawa

Canada Post says drivers should not block Ottawa bike lanes

Company issued statement pledging not to block lanes in Toronto initially unsure if that applied to rest of country.

Toronto Parking Enforcement officer Kyle Ashley uses social media to out drivers who park in bike lanes. After he called out Canada Post the agency said it would ensure drivers don't park in the lanes.

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Toronto Parking Enforcement officer Kyle Ashley uses social media to out drivers who park in bike lanes. After he called out Canada Post the agency said it would ensure drivers don't park in the lanes.

Canada Post’s will work to ensure drivers stay out of bike lanes in Ottawa just as it has reminded drivers in Toronto to do.

Last week the Crown corporation reminded its drivers not to park in the lanes in Toronto after a bylaw enforcement officer went public with complaints that the company was a regular violator of the space. It was initially unclear if the edict applied to drivers across the country, but spokesperson Jon Hamilton said the rules apply everywhere.  

“Our employees are expected to follow the traffic laws when serving customers, which includes no-stopping zones like bike lanes.”

He said drivers would be reminded of their obligations to stay out of bike lanes.

“We do this regularly across the country.”  

Gareth Davies, president of Citizens for Safe Cycling, said they have heard cyclists complain about delivery drivers including Canada Post taking up lanes in Ottawa.

“When there is no barrier in the bike lanes, there are drivers who will sit there, park there, possibly sometimes not realizing they’re doing something illegal.”

Davies said when that happens it creates a safety concern for cyclists, because where bike lanes exist drivers expect cyclist to be in them.

“When that space gets taken up it means that cyclists have to weave into traffic and vehicles wouldn’t be expecting them because there is theoretically a bike lane there,” he said.

Davies said that, in addition to getting drivers to respect the existing lanes, getting bike lanes that are physically separated with a barrier would help.

“With the separated lane with a barrier there is almost no chance that it could be blocked.”

The city doesn’t tracks tickets given to individual companies or to sectors like delivery trucks,

But it has been ramping up enforcement recently, issuing 79 tickets n 2015, 91 in 2016 and 182 tickets so far this year.

Roger Chapman, Manager, By-law and Regulatory Services, said it’s something they have focused on this year.

“This increase can be attributed to increased enforcement as well as the growth of the city’s cycling network,” he said. “Most tickets have been issued along the East-West Bikeway on Laurier Avenue, between Elgin Street and Bay Street.”

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