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Councillor wants better process for reporting parking abuse

CityNews | posted Thursday, Apr 27th, 2017

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A Toronto councillor has his sights set on “habitual” parking abuse in the city, saying the process for reporting infractions is inefficient and the fines, sometimes not enough of a deterrent.

Coun. Stephen Holyday’s motion, which was to be considered by council on Wednesday, calls for the city to consider having 311 customer service agents start dispatching parking enforcement officers.

He said he’s had a lot of complaints from the residents in his Etobicoke Centre ward about cars regularly parked overnight.

“In Etobicoke like in many parts of the city, there is a three-hour parking bylaw, and that’s part of the character of our neighbourhood,” Holyday said. “We consider our streets unencumbered.

“But what’s been happening in some of the higher density neighbourhoods is that folks have been parking their cars on the road overnight. And it starts to go from a nuisance … to [becoming] blocked. And they’ve expressed concerns about the ability of safety vehicles to come through.”

The residents told Holyday they’ve been calling the city’s parking enforcement hotline, but very few tickets have been issued.

They’ve also suggested the $15 fine for exceeding the three-hour parking limit is not enough of a deterrent, and Holyday wants the city to consider raising the fine.

“I wonder if it’s an appropriate fine considering maybe it’s just cheaper to get a couple of tickets a month than to pay the cost of renting a spot in the building,” he said.

Holiday also noted a lack of data on parking enforcement and suggested 311 might also take on the task of gathering that information and preparing reports.

Last year, the parking enforcement unit got about 160,000 calls and issued 2,268,110 tickets. Almost 116,500 of those were for parking longer than three hours.

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