Accessibility Coalition challenges City recommendation to let motor vehicles park in bike lanes

Item referred back to staff for further research and consultation. 

On Monday December 12th, an Accessibility Coalition held a press conference at City Hall challenging City staff's recommendation to let private motor vehicles stop and park in the city's protected bike lanes. The Accessibility Coalition is concerned that this recommendation will compromise protected bike lanes in the City and endanger pedestrians, people with a wide range of mobility and sensory impairments as well as cyclists, who include people with disabilities. The recommendation is not based on international best practice and was created without consultation with all stakeholders.

The City must focus on building universally designed spaces that will include all road users, regardless of how they travel. The initial proposal, if passed, signals the end of protected bike lanes in Toronto, leaving it as the only major city in North America without a protected bike network. This is a giant step backwards for road safety at a time when Toronto has a record number of vulnerable road user deaths on our streets and sidewalks, and the recommendation represents a reversal from the trend towards more accessible road design. 

Toronto City Council voted to refer the issue back to staff at the December 13 City Council meeting. The motion requires staff to “consult with the Equity, Diversity and Human Rights Division, the Disability, Access and Inclusion Advisory Committee, the broader disabilities, cycling, pedestrian community groups and other relevant stakeholders”. Staff will consider international best practice and present alternatives to allowing those with Accessible Parking permits to shop in protected bike lanes. Staff will report back to PWIC as part of the new On-Street Bikeway Design Guidelines in fall 2017.

The Accessibility Coalition is made up of Walk Toronto, Friends and Families for Safe Streets, Stop Gap, Cycle Toronto, Cycling without Age and other inclusive active transportation groups

Background materials:

- Read the City Council decision and initial recommendations from City staff 

- View best practices from around the world and what's at stake

- Read Cycle Toronto's official submission to Toronto City Council


- Accessibility advocates speak out against mixing cycling and drop-off space (CP24)

- Council shouldn't let cars with accessibility permits stop in bike lanes, group warns (CBC)

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