Eyes on the Street

Eyes on the Street: Bike Lane Stopping Zones

Given the limited number of bike lanes in Hamilton, every one of them is effectively an arterial route for cyclists. Why is this unsafe practice allowed?

By Oliver Veit
Published November 18, 2016

Does Hamilton believe blocking bikes lanes is a safe practice?

A section of my trip to and from work is along Cannon Street, between Gage and Kenilworth. This section of Cannon has one bike lane in each direction at each curb. Almost daily, I find a car stopped or parked in the bike lane and need to make my way out into car traffic to get around it.

I have noticed that there are "No Parking" areas along this stretch and "No Stopping" areas. Is this signage that remains from before the bike lanes were put in, or does the city have some criteria it uses when assessing which sections of bike lane are safe for cars to stop in?

Given the limited number of bike lanes in Hamilton, every one of them is effectively an arterial route for cyclists. Why is this unsafe practice allowed?

Cannon Street west of Ottawa Street
Cannon Street west of Ottawa Street

An avid cyclist with an interest in human transportation, Oliver Veit lives and works in Hamilton's Ward 3.

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By rednic (registered) | Posted November 21, 2016 at 09:35:58

Perhaps you should try the back ally that runs parallel to those streets. Once you don't find it. Perhaps you should try to think what it be like living in one of those houses. Signed A life long cyclist.

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By cyberfarer (registered) | Posted November 21, 2016 at 17:38:10

Yeah, no cyclist minds when a bike lane is momentarily blocked for a legitimate purpose. But the bike lanes are being blocked ALL OF THE TIME for driver convenience. I watched a driver fully block the lanes on Hunter so his passenger could go into the convenience store and there was legal parking on the opposite side of the road.

This is an expression of disrespect and entitlement. Block a car lane and the cops will arrive within minutes. Block a bike lane and no problem.

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By blatchdk (registered) | Posted November 22, 2016 at 09:23:57 in reply to Comment 120448

This.

I've had a running car stopped in the bike lane at Upper Paradise and Stone Church just outside the gas station. I went to go around in traffic and as I got level with the driver's window the guy took off and almost hit me. To this day I don't know why he was stopped there, but there were plenty of other options.

Just one example out of many.

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By HammerAndSmoke (registered) | Posted November 22, 2016 at 13:38:45

They should do a bike-lane blitz like they did in Toronto this summer. Afterwards there were far fewer cars parked in bike lanes for months! Time for another blitz now, though...

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By KevinLove (registered) | Posted November 22, 2016 at 16:06:11

The way to eliminate car drivers obstructing bike lanes is to engineer out their capability of doing so. For example, see:

https://bicycledutch.wordpress.com/2011/...

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