November 23, 2023
Mercedes Benz Canada VIA EMAIL
2680 Matheson Blvd E #500
Mississauga, ON L4W 0A5
Hazardous Bike Lane Blockages
For a depressingly long-time people on bicycles from Toronto’s east end have raised warnings about your downtown dealership’s repeat usage of the bike lane on Dundas Street East as a loading dock for transport trucks carrying luxury automobiles. Despite adjacent laneways and an incredibly large private parking lot, blocking a public roadway/designated bike lane appears to be the preferred approach for those responsible for this dealership. We would like to raise a few concerns.
Blocking bike lanes is dangerous and puts vulnerable road users into harms way. By shutting down this lane, without warning signage or municipal authority, cyclists are forced to merge with faster moving traffic and treacherous streetcar tracks. As the onramps to the Don Valley are within eyeshot of motorists, this area poses an increased risk to cyclists. We have multiple cases where people have been seriously injured while navigating around blocked bike lanes. In fact, we have successfully sued your competitor Lexus across the street for a bike crash in the adjacent bike lane.
Blocking bike lanes is illegal. In municipalities across Ontario, but particularly Toronto, non-emergency vehicles must not stop in or block bike lanes. The actions of your transport truck driver are in violation of several City of Toronto Municipal Code sections. If not an emergency vehicle on emergency duties, a public works vehicle actively engaged in city works or a transit vehicle picking up a person with a disability, Mercedez use of the bike lane as has been repeatedly demonstrated is against the law.
We query whether the City of Toronto has so authorized Mercedes Benz to use this bike lane as a loading dock, and if so, please direct us to the official who sanctioned it.
It remains unclear why multiple requests from road safety advocates to engage with your team (and the City of Toronto for that matter) have been ignored.
We have come to learn through reliable community sources that this Mercedes Benz location employs a manager who holds anti-cyclist attitudes. Perhaps, a communication blockage exists at the management level and so we appeal to Mercedes Benz Canada for intervention and support.
Certainly, a company storied in such a deep commitment to and leadership in automobile safety would agree that avoiding unnecessary injury in a neigbouring bike lane should be avoided at all costs.
We have copied City Councillor Chris Moise in the hopes of updating him on the ongoing issues people in his Ward face.
We would be pleased to speak with your office at any time.
On behalf of myself and Lanrick Bennett Jr., Toronto’s Bicycle Mayor
Managing Partner, The Biking Lawyer LLP
CC: Toronto City Councillor Chris Moise