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Cycling in Waterloo Region
(07-18-2017, 07:28 AM)ijmorlan Wrote:
(07-17-2017, 04:16 PM)Coke6pk Wrote: ljmorlan: The majority of the vehicle is in the restricted lane, therefore, its not considered in the traffic lane.  If it was fully in the traffic lane, it could get a ticket for "Obstructing traffic".

Thanks for the information. This is disappointing, as it confirms that there is a double standard. Bicycle lanes should be considered, de facto and de jure, to be traffic lanes. This isn’t to say that some accommodation for people dropping off or picking up shouldn’t be made, but apparently bicycles can’t be obstructed by definition at present, which is crazy, and also justifies bicyclists taking a casual approach to following the rules (e.g. by riding on the much safer sidewalk, especially to get around an obstruction that is not legally an obstruction).

This is a rather minor example, I'd argue this is a much larger problem, and something which the vast majority of people who whine about cyclists breaking the law have never experienced, but most of our infrastructure and the laws surrounding them aren't designed for cyclists, this example with bike lanes is one, but even just take our MUTs, with all but one exception they have crosswalks at intersections which cannot be legally used by cyclists.  As a result, cyclists are basically expected to break the law in order to bike around.
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danbrotherson: Unfortunately, the only thing you can do is call and complain and/or sit back and hope the by-law folks come by at the right time/right place. The problem with delivery vehicles is they are there for just a few minutes before moving on. We don't sit and wait for infractions, we just get lucky as we pass by. (The only exceptions to this are NSA's in School Zone... we pick a school and stand there and hand out $80 tickets to everyone who stops to drop off little Jimmy... the other exception is private security guards who are authorized to write city tickets... they can hang out in their property's fire route and hand out $80 Fire Route tickets and $300 disabled persons space tickets). As for the bus stops, the drivers were pretty good about radioing in to dispatch who would send us if we were close. Its frustrating, but for now, its what we got.

Obstructing traffic would be used mostly on a non-residential roadway, where a vehicle parks in such a manner to block the only lane in that direction. [So even though a parked car in one of two N/B lanes technically may be Obstructing, it wouldn't be ticked. If another vehicle double parked, that vehicle would be obstructing. Basically if a parked vehicle sends me into oncoming traffic, a ticket is warranted] Residential roadway's are trickier, since 3hrs of parking is normally allowed on both sides. Even though I may need to pull to the side to allow oncoming traffic to pass, I wouldn't ticket. If in my expert opinion, I am of the belief that a fire truck could not safely pass thru, I would ticket vehicles on both sides.

Its sad to hear the Customer Care centre give "they might fight it" as a reason not to attend. [When I worked there we got the calls directly]. Our justice system is built on the premise everyone has the right to trial, and if we don't enforce things that people might fight, not only would I be out of a job, but we could eliminate all law enforcement.

ljmorlan: Yes it is. The traffic bylaw was written for cars, and changed to accommodate bikes... but not written with them in mind. [In fact if I recall correctly, the "restricted lane" section of the by-law doesn't mention bikes specifically, even though it is the most prevalent type of such lane.]

Coke
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Update:

So this was the wording I remember:
Reserved Lane means a lane within a highway reserved under this by-law exclusively
for use by horse-drawn vehicles, buses or other specific classes or types of
vehicles.

but they have added this now:
Bicycle Lane means a lane on a highway designated by authorized signs, the use of which is solely for bicycles.

And the parking restrictions are now:
3. Parking Prohibited

a) General
Unless otherwise permitted in this by-law, no person shall at any time park a vehicle on any highway:
(xviii) Within a reserved lane during the hours and days that the reserved lane is in effect;
(xxv) On, or in such a manner as to obstruct any designated bicycle lane, provided that this shall not prohibit a momentary stopping of transit buses at signs marking a bus stop, taxis while actively engaged in receiving or discharging passengers, or other motor vehicles while actively engaged in receiving or discharging passengers.


So when I was there, I would tag a bike lane as a restricted lane and we were all good.  Now, a bicycle lane is restricted to having authorized signs posted.  This is disappointing, as I don't remember ever seeing a diamond lane sign for bikes here.  [They are painted on the roadway, but we all know that roadway markings are not enforceable when it comes to parking.... well, other than the "Park in more than one space" ticket, but I digress....

Coke
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(07-15-2017, 01:06 PM)Elmira Guy Wrote: Bike lane lines have been finished on Lincoln Rd.

I would say *mostly* finished. Lines have been painted, but no signs have been posted, and there are no diamonds painted in the lane.

It looks like the idea of painting a buffer such as on Lexington Road didn't come to fruition.
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@Coke

Thanks for the info.

Our bike lanes pretty reliably have the restricted lane diamond signs (which by the way about 1% of drivers even know what they mean [1]) all along, so that wouldn't be an issue.

Seems like unloading of cargo is not an explicit exception in the bylaw either.

Regardless, the bylaw is basically ignored by a large percentage of the population, worse, I still think the "impeding traffic" is a judgementy type thing, which is usually a bad law. I have no idea why it isn't just "no parking in no parking zones".

Also, ooooh, how do we get deputized to write tickets? I could write a half dozen on my walks to and from work. Double that if I could also ticket for texting and driving.

[1] Our region now has a number of different diamond marked lanes which are interesting, and include buggy lanes in the rural areas, as well as transit lanes for the LRT and aBRT. I know a number of people who were confused as to why the "LRT tracks were marked for bikes".
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Reinforcing that the bike lanes are indeed signed (at least where I look), here's a streetview of Erb at Westmount: https://goo.gl/maps/5ayXq8iq6uD2

As for the "unloading cargo isn't excepted in bike lanes" that may be because the definition of "park" or "parking" as previously described says that parking does not include standing temporarily for loading/unloading.

So, in short, bike lanes are implicitly "No Parking" areas with some additional exceptions (bus, taxi, passenger vehicles loading/unloading). Since cargo loading/unloading isn't parking, a bike lane's implicit 'No Parking' doesn't apply.

...unless there is another clause for "Stopping is prohibited in bicycle lanes"?

Sound about right, Coke6pk?
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I guess I haven't been paying attention to see the bike signs.... glad they are there.

Unfortunately, there are many parking bylaws that run into grey areas. Obstruct traffic is only one... partially over the sidewalk, partially in an NPA/NSA (I used more than 50% in gets a ticket, less than 50% not). The only "partials" that were guaranteed a ticket were "More than one space" and "Disabled Persons Spaces".

Surprisingly enough, cities are very controlling on issuing that authority to outsiders. Only a select few from certain security companies and private by-law enforcement services get the authority. I dealt with property owners that wanted the authority to deal with their fire routes and disabled persons spaces, but were not allowed, so they had to use us on an call out basis. Seems a waste of resources, but I'm not management... so what do I know?

Coke
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(07-18-2017, 11:20 AM)chutten Wrote: Reinforcing that the bike lanes are indeed signed (at least where I look), here's a streetview of Erb at Westmount: https://goo.gl/maps/5ayXq8iq6uD2

As for the "unloading cargo isn't excepted in bike lanes" that may be because the definition of "park" or "parking" as previously described says that parking does not include standing temporarily for loading/unloading.

So, in short, bike lanes are implicitly "No Parking" areas with some additional exceptions (bus, taxi, passenger vehicles loading/unloading). Since cargo loading/unloading isn't parking, a bike lane's implicit 'No Parking' doesn't apply.

...unless there is another clause for "Stopping is prohibited in bicycle lanes"?

Sound about right, Coke6pk?

I would agree.  There is no NSA for bike lanes (at least in Kitchener)

Coke
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This is a question for legal scholars, but given that the bylaw explicitly lists "discharging passengers" as exceptions to the "no parking" law, (and discharging passengers, is also not "parking"), then it would seem the intent of the law is more narrow, than the strictest legal definition of "parking". Of course, IANAL.

When it comes right down too it though, laws or not seem irrelevant, contractor vehicles, people on cell phones, yard work vehicles all block bike lanes with equal impunity, and nobody seems to care.

Again, we are back to the double standard, where apparently if a general traffic lane were being blocked, it would be ticketable.
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(07-18-2017, 12:04 PM)danbrotherston Wrote: When it comes right down too it though, laws or not seem irrelevant, contractor vehicles, people on cell phones, yard work vehicles all block bike lanes with equal impunity, and nobody seems to care.

Again, we are back to the double standard, where apparently if a general traffic lane were being blocked, it would be ticketable.

I don't think that's what Coke6pk is saying.  But there is a finite number of bylaw enforcement officers, so they cannot be everywhere.  If you think we should increase that number of officers, you probably should lobby the city council for that.  There would be a cost, but also some additional bylaw ticket revenue, not sure what the net budget impact would be.
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