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Cyclists hold ‘shovel-in’ to clear downtown bike path of snow

Cyclists fed up with the snow and ice covering the city’s bike paths picked up their shovels on Thursday and cleared the way themselves.

The advocacy group Cycle Toronto held a “shovel-in” at the contraflow lane on Shaw Street, between Bloor and Harbord, on Thursday evening, and volunteers managed to cart away the snow and reopen the path in a couple of hours.

“We love the contraflow bike lane on Shaw St., but too often this winter it’s been filled with snow,” organizers said on the event Facebook page.

“Like many bike lanes in Toronto, the city uses them in the winter to store snow, rather than clear them and ensure safe passage for cyclists. So if the city won’t remove the snow, we will!”

The city responded on Friday morning and removed the rest of the snow on the path south of Harbord.

Coun. Mike Layton — who sits on the city’s public works committee and was at Thursday’s event — plans to introduce a motion at the next committee meeting in April asking staff to come up with policies for winter maintenance of bike lanes.

Contraflow lanes allow cyclists to safely bike against traffic on one-way streets.

To see a photo gallery of the event, click here.