Every public, taxpayer-funded service should have a clear public benefit. To most residents, this statement seems obvious in relation to our parks and transit system, but less so when it comes to parking enforcement.
It often seems as if the police issue tickets for the slightest infraction on a quiet neighbourhood street simply in order to fatten the city’s coffers. Yet parking enforcement is rarely seen during rush hours on our main streets when a vehicle is parked illegally on a curb lane. That’s why I brought a motion to city council this summer requesting a common sense approach to parking enforcement.
Some infractions do not warrant the same level of enforcement as others. Quiet streets with surplus spots pose less of a problem than a street with a dearth of spots. And an illegally parked car or stopped delivery vehicle on an arterial road can delay thousands of drivers.
I believe parking enforcement should focus more on the interest of keeping traffic moving rather than penalizing residents who may be slightly late getting back to their car.
This is part of a comprehensive approach I’m taking to make sense of Toronto’s parking enforcement. Other related initiatives I’ve been successful in approving at council include raising fines for vehicles stopped in curb lanes during rush hour, exploring a ban on commercial vehicles making deliveries during peak periods, and moving forward with signal synchronization.
With the tools available to us now, we must apply common sense and thoughtfulness to how we use our limited resources.
Parking enforcement is one place to start.