City Hall is back in business after the holiday season, but the gifts keep on coming. Parking on busy streets during rush hour, or blocking a bike lane any time has been increased by $150 fine if passed by city hall.
Public works and infrastructure voted 3-2 Wednesday to hike the fine from the current $60 for parking in a no stopping or standing zone and $40 for parking in a no parking zone.
The two dissenting votes were cast by councillors Shiner and Parker, who worried the hike is a “feel good” motion when the real problem is enforcement.
Tickets are issued by parking enforcement officers who work for Toronto police.
Shiner said their quota system — called “targets” by police — that sees parking officers expected to issue a certain number of tickets per day means they hit lots of cars at expired meters or on side-streets, rather than one car blocking busy traffic and causing a huge headache.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, the committee's chair, agreed with the dissenters and said city staff will talk to police about better enforcement.
“We are moving forward in trying to address congestion,” said Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong chair of the public works committee. “This is a positive step forward.”
The increased fine is one part of attacking the problem, he said, and proper enforcement is another.
The fine hike would need to go to council for approval before coming into effect.