Signs, Signs…. not everywhere!

Imagine trying to get around this on a tight bend!

I have to say that one of the biggest peeves I have when riding to work along my chosen streets is when a car or truck (or as in my case, a seemingly Monster Truck) is parked on a bend where generally the road is or seems to be narrower. This of course would be insignificant to anyone who drives and therefore parks because parking is a right. Right? Where there is no sign, there is parking! But to me, the one who rides around the monster truck everyday, this is an issue.

I feel as though I have to convince the cars speeding up behind me that it is ok for me to be this far out in to the lane. Maybe they don’t see the monster truck parked there and are mad at me? Why do I care? It is my safety I am worried about, not theirs. I feel as though my choices are

  1. Do I wait at the back of the monster truck and then go around once the cars have passed or
  2. Do I tempt fate and manouver around the monster truck in the hopes that people see why I am doing this and slow down or swing out wider to allow me to pass.

On top of all this, for some reason I am quite often meeting the GRT Bus at the same bend in road where the monster truck lives.

I’m sure that it’s an availability thing, but why allow parking on a busy street on a sharp bend at all? This seems to be a safety issue not only for bicycles but for vehicles as well. A nice no parking sign on the bend would solve many issues.

I often see the same GRT bus (if I am 1 minute late) having to wait to go around the monster truck because it must swing in to the oncoming lane to get around it safely. Squeeze me in there and this is definitly a safety issue.

I don’t have the luxury of trails to my job. I ride on Victoria and Lancaster quite often, but the roads between are the major issue. There are plenty of spots available just a few feet further around the bend where it widens again. I believe the City needs to be more understanding of those areas that can cause congestion for a cyclist having to swing around parked vehicles in narrow areas.

I'm Going to use this to solve the issue!

I want to leave a note on monster truck guy’s windshield that says “Please move forward three squares, FTW!” but he might see me and squish me. I can think of a few more spots this happens but the solution is more care on the part of the city planning people on where no parking signs are placed. As a driver, I often come across no parking signs in areas that just don’t make sense. Why can’t I park at the side of the soccer field when I am clearly well off the road and it bothers nobody? Yet I am allowed to park on a blind bend where  I am obviously in the way of many other vehicles and cyclists. This makes no sense.

Please, share with me your trouble spots. This must be something you notice as well on your commutes. Where do you feel unsafe? Do people park in spaces that shouldn’t be spaces to begin with?

10 thoughts on “Signs, Signs…. not everywhere!

  1. My route to/from work takes me on Stirling, both east and west of King St. Going east, there’s a 15-20% grade (up) and it’s usually very slow going. That road is only made to accommodate two vehicles side by side, but there are cars frequently parked on the side of the road. I’m usually OK as there is little car traffic on that stretch, but when there are cars behind me it gets interesting. I take the lane as long as I’m not cutting anyone off in doing so. If they are behind me when I do that, the cars usually pass in the oncoming lane, which is quite dangerous. It would be smart on the side of the city to put up ‘No Parking’ signs, especially since every house on that block has a driveway.
    The bright side of all this is that when I’m headed west (towards work) in the morning, I reach pretty good speeds going down that incline.

    1. My trouble spot will be a post sometime but its on the laurel trail (iron house trail) by the new engineering buildings. The new buildings have dramatically increased pedestrian traffic crossing the trail, but nothings been done to make it safe. You would not believe how many are walking and texting!

  2. My terror zone is right by St. David’s Catholic School.

    In a terrible planning move, they rounded the entrance and exit driveways so that cars exiting and entering the parking lot onto Weber don’t have to slow as much.

    Too bad pedestrians and cyclists. It’s a car’s world.

    1. I’m quite familiar with that area as well. I would imagine that in the mid afternoon and around 8am that place is a death zone.

  3. I have similar concerns when passing vehicles on bends (no monster truck here however…yet). I haven’t had any issues with moving out 3 or so feet from the parked vehicle to pass. People behind slow down and wait or simply move further into the other lane to pass.
    There still are the odds times I’ll wait behind the parked vehicles for people behind me to pass, but in general motorists realize I have to move out in order to get by the parked vehicles.

    I suppose it all depends on what your more comfortable with.

  4. What’s the story with parking in bike lanes in KW? In other cities, there are no parking signs along the bike lanes, but not here, so I’m not sure what I’m supposed to do when someone parks in them. Certainly along Father David Bauer and along Westmount north of Columbia, people park in the bike lanes all the time, and there’s nothing to indicate they shouldn’t. Kind of frustrating.

    1. Here in St. Catharines there are no parking signs every few metres (well aprox. every 20-50 metres).

      Best thing is to is to make sure the city doesn’t allow parking in them (all cities are different), and if they are parked illegally report the problem location to parking enforcement or whoever deals with parking tickets.
      Wouldn’t hurt to contact the city and ask them to put up no parking signs.

      1. I know that Kitchener seems more spread out then most cities, however from what I can recall from visiting there (and even checking out Streetview), the neighbourhoods were set-up in such a way that nearly everything you needed (ie groceries, pharmacy etc.) was all within walking/biking distance.

        One thing that really freaked me out when I was considering a move back to K-W, was the speed limits.
        I still can’t get over the idea of 60 or 70 km/h speed limits on some of the city roads.

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