Toronto Takes Advantage of Rush Hour Gridlock By Tripling Parking Fine$

Update:  see previous posts – November 15, 2011 War on Car? Toronto Towing Fees Up 100% in March, 2012?, October 6, 2011 Toronto Towing is Down, Grinding Gridlock is Up, June 27, 2011 Expert Consultants Invited to Toronto to Come Up with Permanent Solutions for Grinding Gridlock, October 20, 2010 Toronto – Total Gridlock, March 30, 2010 Toronto Ranks 19 Out of 19 in Daily Commuting Times

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The City of  Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will meet today and will agree to raise parking fines for those vehicles due to Unlawful Stopping, Standing, and Parking. The decisions of the Committee will then proceed to Toronto City Council on February 6, 2012, who will vote “yes” or “no” to the Committee’s recommendations.

Parking Ticket Fines will increase from $40 (no parking offence) & $60 (no stopping/standing offence) to $150.00 during rush hour (6-10 am & 3-7 pm)

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (Denzil Minnan-Wong (Chair), David Shiner (Vice Chair), Mark Grimes, Mike Layton, John Parker , Gord Perks ) will make the decision to amend the appropriate by-laws as necessary to create new offences prohibiting stopping, standing, or parking a vehicle during all or any portion of the general rush hour period(s) of 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. and or 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday to Friday except Public Holidays where official signs to prohibit parking, standing or stopping are displayed.

The Public Works and Infrstructure Committee will amend the appropriate by-laws to establish a fixed fine amount of $150.00 for any new offences created.

In addition; the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will amend the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 886, Footpaths, Pedestrian Ways, Bicycle Paths and Bicycle Lanes to increase the fixed fine amount to $150.00 with respect to the offences of stopping a vehicle other than a bicycle in a bicycle lane

In order to achieve the goal of reducing instances of unlawful stopping/standing/parking during rush hour periods and in bicycle lanes and reduce traffic congestion, the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will recommend an increase in the fine amounts for these types of infractions to $150.00 (from the current set fine of $40.00 for a no parking offence, and from $60.00 for no stopping/no standing offences).

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will also deal with Enforcement of Cycling Infractions in the City of Toronto.

Alok Mukherjee, Chair, Toronto Police Services Board sent a report to the City of Toronto, in which Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair made some recommendations and Chief Blair described the challenges that police officers experience when trying to enforce the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act that apply to cyclists. Chief Blair complained that there is no licensing regime for bicycles which makes it difficult for police officers to identify cyclists as opposed to their ability to identify drivers of vehicles given that drivers are required to have a licence.

This bicycle rider is riding on the sidewalk, using one hand and talking on a cellphone. Cyclists are considered drivers under the Highway Traffic Act

The City is looking for a harmonization and enforcement of of all the by-laws and different codes of (Metropolitan Toronto By-law, East York By-law, Etobicoke Municipal Code, North York By-law, Scarborough By-law, Toronto Municipal Code, York) related to Sidewalk Cycling By-Laws in the City of Toronto.

There are approximately 275 Highway Traffic Act (HTA) offences that are enforceable for cyclists. Most of the charges for a cyclist are also applicable to motor vehicle drivers as they deal with moving violations, traffic controls and signs. Most moving violation offences for a cyclist carry the same status and fines as would apply to the driver of a motor vehicle. Cyclists are considered drivers under the HTA.

The HTA laws and Municipal by-laws that govern bicycle riding and equipment are quite extensive. Listed below is the statistical data for years 2009, 2010 and 2011 to date. There are limitations with the Service’s data system in the collection of particular statistics when trying to separate HTA infractions from Municipal by-laws offences for specific cyclist violations.

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