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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

City Secretly Supports Car Free Day

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It seemed fitting that I got a parking ticket on the eve of Car Free Day last week – the holiday the City chose not to support this year, inspiring councillor Michael Walker to wax poetic about his Hot Rod Lincoln. I have a little hand-me-down car that usually sits on the streets and collects leaves unless it’s needed for some utilitarian purpose that a bike can’t handle. Whenever I drive it I remember why I rarely drive, and wonder how people do this everyday. Returning home, I drove all around my neighbourhood looking for a parking spot, and finally found one I thought was legal — but the yellow ticket I got later indicated it wasn’t. All very unjust — so I sent an insufferable email to the parking department, wondering if they over-sold the neighbourhood, commenting on overzealous parking ticket officers, and inquiring how I could get the permit hours on our street extended. A polite person emailed me this back:

Shawn……as of today’s date, Area 5D…the area bounded by Bathurst to the west, the railway tracks north of Dupont to the north, St. George to the east and Bloor West to the south has 992 on-street spaces with 851 permits issued and 141 still available…it is therefore not oversold.

If you wish to have the hours extended, simply put an informal poll of your neighbours together and submit it to your Councillor’s office…they’ll forward the request to us. Your Councillor is Olivia Chow, her EA is Helen Kennedy. the office # there is (416) 392-4044.

Regarding “our” enforcement officers…they are in fact members of the Toronto Police Parking Enforcement Unit….the local area supervisor for parking enforcement in your area is either Frank Yow Foo (416) 808-6638 or Rob Singh (416) 808-1618……east and west of Spadina Ave. respectively

So I started to think, maybe the City does secretly support Car Free Day — by making it somewhat difficult to own a car here, there is an inherent disincentive to driving a car in the City. This ticket was the third I got in 3 months — and I think I pay attention to signs and obey rules, but somehow I didn’t do it right. With all the other horrible drivers, and these parking tickets, and the terrible day care centre down Madison that clogs up the road with Baby-On-Board Subaru Outbacks everyday — it all leads to anger and rage, something most of us want to avoid. It’s probably good for everybody that I got the ticket, I guess. But if they would only pay as much attention to the guys who park in the bike lane on Davenport….