Toronto to raise parking fines for 125 offences on August 1

Parking fines for 125 offences will rise in Toronto on August 1st, city council decided on Wednesday.Councillors voted overwhelming in favour to raise the fines at a meeting on Wednesday after considering a city staff report on the issue.Coun. Jennifer McKelvie’s motion, which passed 20 to 1, directs city staff to review all parking penalty amounts in five years and report back to council. Staff had proposed higher rates earlier, but McKelvie’s motion revamped some of the fine amounts.McKelvie, who represents Scarborough-Rouge Park, said councillors asked city staff to divide the 125 offences into the most egregious safety violations, of which there are 36, and the less egregrious, of which there are 89.The most egregious offences, which seriously impede the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorists, include stopping in a bike lane and parking too close to an intersection, she said. The less egregrious offences include waiting too late to feed the metre and parking overnight when it is not allowed.”I think we quickly realized in discussions with council colleagues that maybe we need to go with more of a Goldilocks approach, as we had some bears that thought that the fines were too high, and we had some bears that thought that the fines were too low, and I think in the end city staff have come back with fines that are really just right,” McKelvie told council chambers.According to the motion, the fine for parking in a bike lane will be $200, an increase from $150, while not paying the required fee at a parking machine will be $50, an increase from $30.Coun. Jennifer McKelvie’s motion, which passed 20 to 1, directs city staff to review all parking penalty amounts in five years and report back to council. Staff had proposed higher rates earlier, but McKelvie’s motion revamped some of the fine amounts. (Mike Smee/CBC)McKelvie said Toronto motorists all have the option of simply parking legally and not paying the fine.”We will have some push back that the fines are too high, or the fines are too low, but the thing that we really want is that if we didn’t collect any money on parking offences in the City of Toronto, it would be a good day, because everybody was following the rules of the road, everybody was doing their part to keep people safe, everybody was doing their part to make sure that we’re easing congestion on the roads,” she said.McKelvie said before the vote that an earlier motion to more than double rates ran into trouble with councillors. The less egregrious offences, or non-safety ones, have been adjusted to a slight lower rate now, she said.”There was a little bit of sticker shock with some of my colleagues on just how high some of the fines were raising,” she said.Higher fines will prompt drivers to follow rules: staffCity staff told councillors that change would encourage drivers to follow the rules.”It is long overdue to adjust the rates. We know that they were not providing a deterrent any more,” McKelvie said.Coun. Brad Bradford, who represents Beaches-East York, said before the vote that the city needs to crack down on inconsiderate drivers. At the end of the day, the city doesn’t want people parking illegally, he said.”When you look at congestion in the downtown core, a lot of that time is when somebody’s parking in the wrong spot during rush hour. It’s very frustrating for people when someone stops to pull over and get a coffee and you lose the lane of traffic,” he said.Coun. Paula Fletcher, who represents Toronto-Danforth, said before the vote she didn’t support the initial increases because she said it would have hurt small businesses at a time when many are still recovering from the pandemic. She said she planned to support the compromise motion.”For our businesses and our restaurants in particular, I didn’t think that we could go from $30 to $75. That was just stupid.”

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