Cars not wanted on snow days

Sidestreet parking in the winter in Scarborough is “one of those laws that sound great but wouldn’t work nowadays,” Ward 40 councillor Norm Kelly says.

He was responding to a proposed ban on street parking raised by Ward 38 councillor Glenn De Baeremaeker at Scarborough Community
Council on Jan. 13.

De Baeremaker said residents had complained about winter street parking in Scarborough.

“It’s most aggravating because when someone parks in front of your house … and when the snow plow comes, there’s a big high mound of snow all the way around your car,” De Baeremaeker said. “And you, as the homeowner, have to shovel around the car and the snow bank.”

The proposal is to ban street parking in the winter between 2 and 6 a.m. from Dec. 1 to the end of March.

Kelly, who was not at the meeting due to sickness, said he doesn’t believe the bylaw would be effective and it should already be common sense to move your vehicle in the winter.

“It’s like changing the speed limit from 50 km/h to 40 km/h to reduce speeding,” he said. “But road engineers have said that people go the speed they want.”

Scarborough’s street parking bylaw has a three-hour limit any time of the day. After three hours, it is considered to be illegal parking.
Police officers cannot ticket those cars right away because they have to follow a procedure that requires them to go back three hours later to give out a ticket.

“On those nights that snow, you really create a hazard and inconvenience to your neighbours,” De Baeremaeker said. “And that’s not right.”

If the ban were to take place, De Baeremaeker would give officers “the discretion to ticket or tow the vehicle.”

De Baeremaeker intends to put into the bylaw a clause that would allow the general manager of transportation to grant exemptions on specific streets where people do not have driveways to park on.

Peter Noehammer, director for transportation services in Scarborough, agrees with the ban.

“It would certainly help our crews to clear our streets the first time,” he said.

Noehammer has spoken to colleagues in the city of North York where there is a ban on side street parking from 2 to 6 a.m. Cars are rarely parked on the side, making it easy for the plows.

De Baeremaeker has not spoken to snow operators in Scarborough but the City of Toronto’s transportation staff in charge of snow plowing tell him they support him, he said.

“I want to give the message to people who know they will hardly ever get a ticket because it’s hard for the police to come back and visit them twice,” De Baeremaeker said. “They know they are taking advantage of the situation and they shouldn’t.”

The proposed ban is to be brought up again as early as February or as late as April.