Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Star: $500 fine proposed for ‘road hogs’ who park in curb lane

Motorists who park in a lane of traffic to run for a coffee or make a delivery are “road hogs” who should be towed and slapped with a $500 fine, says Councillor Josh Matlow.


Matlow has prepared a motion to go to city council next month increasing the fine for drivers who take up a lane, including a bike lane, of a major arterial road during the morning or afternoon rush hours.

The motion would also ask the city manager to work with police to increase enforcement of bylaws prohibiting such stops, which currently carry fines of $40 to $60 that, Matlow says, are rarely levied.


“For drivers there is incredible frustration when one of two lanes is blocked by some selfish guy who thinks his coffee or his drycleaning is more important than the hundreds of drivers behind him,” Matlow said.


“If you’re a cyclist, whether there is a bike lane there or not, that road hog is forcing you to swerve out into traffic and that is dangerous.”


Matlow says he is including couriers and other delivery vehicles in his motion, aimed at alleviating gridlock and improving safety, knowing the industry will protest that they need to make quick stops in traffic to keep business flowing.


He argues his motion is aimed at 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., so deliveries can be made in other hours. Delivery companies’ rights shouldn’t trump commuters’ rights, he argued.


Matlow said he knows his motion, seconded by Councillor Mike Layton, would almost certainly fail if it were put to a vote at council because his colleagues would want to ensure there are exemptions for Wheel-Trans, disabled people and others.


So he is asking for a vote to refer his motion to the public works committee for a report that could suggest modifications and come back to council.


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