Lately, riders on Queen West have been forced to dodge mounds of horse doo left by police mounts during rush hour. The slippery situation has made for some hazardous biking.
The cops, though, say patrolling on horseback, especially in rush hour, creates a strong presence. So does the scat left behind.
"I can't imagine that manure would put a person in a position where they're sliding," says mounted unit Staff Inspector Bill Wardle . "It's biodegradable."
Wardle says the horses walk 18 inches from the curb, which should leave plenty of room for cyclists.
But cyclist Matthew Blackett says the cops should look into putting diapers on them thar doggies. He says he had to find his way around nine piles of horse dung on one stretch of Queen recently, nearly causing a, ahem, pileup.
Says Blackett, "I counted 100 cyclists going east and west at University and Queen in a 10-minute period. If you're riding with that many people in front of you, you can't see the hazards," especially, he says, if you're also watching for suddenly opening car doors.
City Cycling Committee chair Adam Giambrone agrees there's a safety concern, "especially on narrow streets."
Sarah B. Hood, author of Practical Pedalling: A Companion For Everyday Cycling In Toronto, says it's "the symbolism of piles of shit left by police" that gets to her - at a time when the city is pushing its Clean and Beautiful City initiative full force. "It's insulting."