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Police watch as new Simcoe bike lane used as taxi stand

There’s a fresh new bike lane on Simcoe Street. Just six months old, itwas meant to calm the nerves of cyclists travelling the busy stretchunder the GO lines and the Gardiner.

There’s a fresh new bike lane on Simcoe Street. Just six months old, it was meant to calm the nerves of cyclists travelling the busy stretch under the GO lines and the Gardiner.

Instead, it’s become a parking lot.

As convention season heats up in Toronto, every major taxi company has cars sitting in the Simcoe Street bike lane, waiting their turn to pick up fares from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

A uniformed police officer ushered taxis into the convention centre parking lot yesterday. He didn’t chastise them for clogging the bike lane, nor for idling, which carries a fine up to $5,000.

When the Toronto Star asked him to clear the bike lane, he said he couldn’t, but he would “call someone.” A cyclist stopped to make the same request. A reporter and the cyclist,?Daniel Hall, stood and waited several minutes until the officer announced he had made the call.

While waiting for the ticket cops to show up, a reporter chatted with a few drivers. When told it was illegal to stand in a bike lane, some said, “No it’s not,” while others said “it’s only for today.”

Dispatchers at the Beck and Royal taxi companies said they would get their cars to move out of the lane, but not one vehicle moved.

Twenty minutes after the officer called in for parking enforcement, no one had shown up. A reporter called and was told a car would be sent out. “Do you know how long it might be?” the police were asked.

“No,” was the response.

“Could I get an estimate?” “No.”

Thirty-five minutes after a uniformed police officer was asked to help enforce the law, the bike lane was still full of idling cars.

 
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