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Most complaints about parking

Have you ever wondered what single issue I receive the most calls about?

While development, traffic volumes and driver behaviour are the overriding concerns of the community as a whole, on a day-to-day basis I receive more individual calls about parking tickets, specifically for parking more than three hours.

Believe it or not, this issue causes the most friction in the community and generates many calls each week. Some residents protest about cars being parked on Leaside streets overnight while others complain about the tickets they have received.

The bylaw in question is a city-wide, “un-posted” regulation that prohibits parking without a permit for more than three hours at any one time.

Prior to the early 1990s, Toronto Police enforced the “overnight” parking prohibition on a nightly basis. I remember well my parents on Airdrie Rd. having to park their cars in the driveway each night and then shuffling them around the next morning.

During a budgetary crunch around 1992 to 1993 it became front page news that the police had planned to step up enforcement of the bylaw to add to the city coffers. However, public outrage was such that the politicians of the day backed off to the point that it was decided that the bylaw would only be enforced on a complaint basis.

But not any complaint. The complainant must live on the street and block in question. Like many other city bylaws that are only enforced on a complaint basis, this has led to confusion and anger.

Residents can go weeks and months without a ticket and then receive infraction notices on a nightly basis perhaps for a week or two.

As councillor I do not have the authority to direct police to ticket or not to ticket a location. Currently, the only option for residents tired of being ticketed is to change their street to one requiring a permit. To do so, a poll of residents must first occur.

The downside of a permit-parking street? Depending on the situation, the annual cost is $200 to $700. However, if anyone is interested in this approach, please contact me.