Peeter Joot's (OLD) Blog.

Math, physics, perl, and programming obscurity.

What is the justification for such a harsh and expensive bylaw?

Posted by peeterjoot on October 20, 2013

Letter to my Markham council representative, after obtaining an “overnight street parking” ticket.  I don’t expect that my city “representation” will be able to change anything, especially since this insanity likely represents a nice revenue stream.

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I live in the Cornell area, which has parking areas cut into segments of the boulevard for street parking that allow for parking without obstructing any flow of traffic.

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For some reason there is a by-law that prohibits overnight (2:30 am – 6:00 am) parking in these areas.  These cut in segments are considered Markham roads, and included in the generic Markham no-overnight parking laws.

In winter months the no overnight parking on roads makes sense.  It could obstruct road clearing, and a blanket policy against such parking likely simplifies things.  Since the Markham plows clear out these cut out parking segments too, I don’t object to such a policy for the Cornell cut in parking segments in winter too.  However, what possible sense does this make in other seasons?

Yesterday it was convenient to park in the front of the house, especially since I had intended to go out again afterwards.  Plans changed and I ended up forgetting to move my car to the backyard driveway.  This was a very expensive memory lapse, and cost me $50!

I am fully aware of the web form that allows for occasional use of this parking area (for visitors, driveway maintenance, …) but the penalty for simply forgetting to move the car when plans to go out change, is extremely harsh.  Especially when we are parking in an area that does not obstruct flow of traffic and the season isn’t one for which snow plowing is relevant.  If nothing else, the penalty for this is exorbitant.

I can also imagine that this could potentially be abused.  Somebody with multiple vehicles could use such an on street parking area as a personal extension to their driveway.  This could introduce fairness issues, preventing other taxpaying neighbours from using a space that should also be available to them.  This extreme scenario could easily be resolved without a harsh and default blanket penalty, since there is a complaint mechanism available for parking issues.

I can’t help but feel that Markham uses this parking by-law as a revenue source, with no real non-monetary justification.  This seems especially true in the Cornell area where there is no obstruction to traffic by these pseudo on-road parking areas.  Do we not pay enough in property taxes, that we can’t occasionally park in front of our own houses without oppressive punishment for a failure to move the vehicle to our personal off street parking areas (driveways and garages)?

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One Response to “What is the justification for such a harsh and expensive bylaw?”

  1. […] What is the justification for such a harsh and expensive bylaw? […]

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