The inner downtown core seems oddly muffled, the early morning rumblings of delivery trucks and streetcars muted. I wake to a familiar scrape scrape scrape outside my window of shovel to sidewalk. It's snowing. And as a year-round cyclist, I know the roads today will be a mess.
If "I wasn't thinking" was a valid excuse, Mike Harris' Common Sense Revolution would still be in power and Judge Judy wouldn't have a job. But that's always the response whenever I ask anyone why they shovel snow from the sidewalk into designated bike lanes. It's bad enough that illegally parked cars block them regardless of weather condition but in winter - particularly after a snowfall - bike lanes seem to disappear.
The picturesque snow pushed into the side of the road turns a four lane streets like Dundas and Queen into three and a half, parked cars pushed out into the road leaving the already narrow bike space a mere inches-wide path between car doors and treacherous streetcar tracks. This doesn't deter four lanes of traffic from trying to squeeze me off the road, not into a big fluffy snowdrift, but a curbside rock-hard mini-mountain of ice.
Oh well, when the weather gets really bad, I can always take the sidewalk. They're guaranteed to be free of snow and ice.