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Do rental and carshare users need stricter discipline when they park in bike lanes?

Frustrated cyclists want to see more consequences for improper actions

A carshare parked in a bike lane Photo by: Holly Clarke

It’s a common sight for cyclists to see cars parked in bike lanes, but can more be done to dissuade motorists from doing so? There are many vigilant parking officers who ticket drivers, but with all the carshares and rentals, perhaps there’s an even stronger approach.

Toronto Hustle gravel racer Holly Clarke thinks that there is one way to drive the message home. When riding in the downtown area recently, she was frustrated to see that someone using a carshare had parked in a bike lane. When motorists stop in a bike lane (“just for two minutes!”), it puts cyclists in a dangerous and risky situation. It forces riders to ride in busy traffic and create a risky diversion for them.

Watch the TikTok of this parking officer nab two trucks parked in Toronto bike lanes

Clarke thinks that a good way to get carshare users to stop parking in lanes is to revoke their membership. It may seem extreme to some, but if customers were warned this would happen, it would be far more punitive than a ticket (which they’d also get).

Guess how many drivers were ticketed for parking in Toronto bike lanes

She reached out to the carshare service of which she saw the offending driver. The company responded, saying that action will be taken to prevent this from happening in the future. “We will be discussing not parking in bike lanes with the responsible member, with education on why it is incredibly dangerous for drivers to obstruct the lane,” the message read. “As for the car itself, our fleet team responded right away after I saw your message and went to move the vehicle.”

Still, cancelling their membership would definitely open up people’s minds about the irresponsible behavior.