Councillor Josh Matlow

Toronto Star: City wants $150 fines for illegal rush-hour parking

December 23, 2011


Parking on busy streets during rush hour, or blocking a bicycle lane at any time, warrants a hefty $150 ticket, city staff say.


If city council adopts the recommendation, the levy would replace the current $60 ticket for parking in a no stopping or no standing zone and the $40 charge for parking in a no parking zone.


Heavier fines had been suggested by Councillor Josh Matlow to create a more effective deterrent.


“A fine of $60 was not getting through to the individual who believes stopping and putting their blinkers on to get their morning coffee is more important than the 100 people stuck behind them,” Matlow said Thursday.


“By raising the fines, people have to think twice, is it worth it?”


The staff report, to be discussed next month by the public works committee, said that in 2010 police issued 175,000 tickets for no-stopping violations — mostly during rush hour.


Rush hour is defined as 6 a.m to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday.


Matlow said he will also be pushing for increased police enforcement of problem areas.


To discourage couriers from blocking rush hour lanes, city officials suggest issuing a $600 annual permit allowing them to park legally in no parking zones outside of rush hour. Delivery fleets would be charged $500 a vehicle.


“Hopefully, they will make their own decision not to impede rush hour traffic, if there’s an incentive to conduct their business outside rush hour,” Matlow said.

December 23, 2011


“We really need to discourage couriers from stopping during rush hour. They are one of the main culprits and it’s one of the reasons why we have so much traffic congestion in our city.”


Matlow supported the staff suggestion to clamp down on motorists parking in bicycle lanes. The current fine of $60 would rise to $150 under the staff proposal.


“For bicyclists, it can be frustrating and dangerous if a car is stopped in a bike lane and they have to veer into traffic to get around the parked car,” he said.


“The reason we have bike lanes is to protect cyclists from traffic.”


The proposals go to the Jan. 4 meeting of the public works committee and on to council in early February.


If adopted, the city would then apply to the courts for approval to begin writing $150 tickets.


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