Stay out of bike lanes!

Mayor wants Posties to be read the riot act

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - DAVID REEVELY dreevely@post­

Canada Post needs to specif­i­cally in­struct its em­ploy­ees to not stop their de­liv­ery trucks in Ot­tawa’s bike lanes, Mayor Jim Wat­son says in a new let­ter to the cor­po­ra­tion’s chief ex­ec­u­tive.

Last week, af­ter a Toronto park­ing-en­force­ment of­fi­cer said pub­licly that Canada Post driv­ers are the worst of­fend­ers in his city for park­ing in bike lanes where no stop­ping is al­lowed, the mail ser­vice pub­licly or­dered its work­ers to stop it.

Find some­place safe and le­gal to park or bring parcels back to your de­pot if you can’t, the in­struc­tion said.

But the or­der was spe­cific to Toronto

It took more than a day, and in­quiries from mul­ti­ple me­dia out­lets, be­fore Canada Post spokesman Jon Hamil­ton said in a three­line re­ply that of course postal work­ers are sup­posed to obey the lo­cal traf­fic and park­ing laws ev­ery­where in the coun­try.

If cus­tomers have com­plaints, he said, please let us know.

That’s good, says a let­ter co-signed by Wat­son and Coun. Keith Egli, who chairs city coun­cil’s trans­porta­tion com­mit­tee, but it’s not enough.

“The City of Ot­tawa is for­mally re­quest­ing that an of­fi­cial state­ment be made sim­i­lar to the one is­sued to your Toronto-based em­ploy­ees here in Ot­tawa to Canada Post em­ploy­ees,” the let­ter says. “The City fur­ther re­quests of­fi­cial as­sur­ance that your em­ploy­ees are aware that ob­struct­ing cy­cling lanes is al­ways dan­ger­ous and not an ac­cept­able prac­tice.”

Be­sides be­ing il­le­gal, the politi­cians say, park­ing trucks in bike lanes forces cy­clists into mixed traf­fic in places where the city has specif­i­cally added lanes to keep them safer.

“Ad­di­tion­ally, when a Canada Post ve­hi­cle ob­structs a cy­cling lane, it fur­ther ex­ac­er­bates traf­fic con­ges­tion, par­tic­u­larly in the down­town core, and is con­trary to the city’s public pol­icy goal of pro­vid­ing a safe city­wide cy­cling ecosys­tem,” the let­ter goes on.

The let­ter, dated Wed­nes­day, asks for a re­sponse and says the city will be happy to work with Canada Post “as good neighbours.”

Canada Post has al­ready talked to its em­ploy­ees about this, Hamil­ton said by e-mail Thurs­day.

“While traf­fic and other re­stric­tions can pose chal­lenges, our ex­pec­ta­tion is that em­ploy­ees serve cus­tomers while fol­low­ing the traf­fic laws, which in­cludes re­spect­ing no-stop­ping zones like bike lanes,” he said work­ers were told. “There is also no time when it is ac­cept­able to park in no-park­ing zones clearly marked for peo­ple with spe­cial needs. Any­one driv­ing a Canada Post ve­hi­cle is ex­pected to find a safe place to stop to per­form their du­ties. If there are is­sues along a de­liv­ery route that need to be in­ves­ti­gated, they should be raised with their su­per­vi­sor for in­ves­ti­ga­tion.”


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