February 7, 2012
Motorists should be dinged $150 for parking on busy streets in rush hour, or blocking a bicycle lane any time, city council decided.
The city must now seek court approval before it can increase the fine from the current $60 for parking during rush hour — 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.
While police say they issued 175,000 tickets in 2010 for no-stopping violations — mostly during rush hour — the message wasn’t getting through, Councillor Josh Matlow said.
The higher fine will likely get people’s attention, said Matlow, who pushed for a higher fine.
“This measure will help curb gridlock and send a very clear signal to those insensitive yahoos who clog up the road that if you don’t care about other people, you might care about your pocketbook,” Matlow said in an interview.
He added that residents of his midtown ward had expressed frustration with rush hour lane hogs.
“We’ve all been stuck in rush hour traffic behind a curb hog or a delivery truck. They think that stopping to pick up a coffee or dry cleaning or make a delivery is more important than everybody else’s need to get to work on time or to get home.
“This will open up lanes during rush hour. It also helps cyclists who often have to veer into traffic if a car is stopped in the bike lane.”
A staff report said the city must apply to the senior regional justice of the Ontario Court of Justice for approval of the increase. The new fine would come into force if approval of the amount is granted.
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