Town to clamp down on parking

After being discussed over the summer and sent back to the Planning and Development executive committee numerous times, town council agreed Monday night to amend the traffic control bylaw and take a hard line with parking violations.
But the bylaw almost was sent back to committee again as council argued over the part which would change the current two-hour time limit on downtown parking to one hour.
“All this is going to do is hurt downtown shopping,” said Coun. Deane Cunningham. “Consistent enforcement is the answer.”
“One hour is pretty short,” agreed Mayor Glenn Witherspoon.
“I don’t think we’ve had enough discussion,” said Coun. Struchan Gilson. “I’m not disagreeing with some of the things we’re doing. I’m just not happy with the process.”
“I agree with Struchan—send it back to committee,” said Coun. Dave Bourgeault.
“What you have is a business community that doesn’t want parking meters, the public doesn’t want parking meters. I don’t think there’s anything else we can do,” replied Coun. Sharon Tibbs.
“Why are you beating the issue?
“If enforcement is the issue, then maybe it’s not a policy problem but a management problem?” she added.
CAO Bill Naturkach noted there was no point in holding up the amended bylaw, which dealt with more than just the parking time limit.
“If you kill the bylaw in its entirety, that makes us go back and not be doing what you want in the meantime—more enforcement,” he said.
“If you want to discuss one-hour parking, we’ll take that part out and pass the rest,” added Naturkach.
The amendment was altered in council chambers before being passed.
The amended bylaw will see fines for parking tickets hiked from $10 to $20 while the penalty for parking in a handicapped space, as per the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, has increased from $40 to $300.
And in response to safety concerns from some residents, two school bus loading zones will be deleted from the bylaw, including:
•the north side of Second Street East from a point 12 metres west of Crowe Avenue to a point 146 metres westerly thereof; and
•the west side of Flinders Avenue from the south limit of First Street West to the north limit of Second Street West.
These are replaced by two new ones, including:
•the west side of Crowe Avenue, from a point 10.4 m north of Second Street East to a point 50.6 m northerly thereof; and
•the west side of Flinders Avenue, from the south limit of First Street West to the north limit of Third Street West.
The amended bylaw will come into effect on approval by the ministries of Transportation and the Attorney General, and when the town gets new parking tickets printed.
While not part of the bylaw, the town also is considering hiring a part-time employee whose sole responsibility would be to enforce downtown parking.
While Human Resources officer Christine Ruppenstein has looked into the matter, this will be something further discussed by the Planning and Development executive committee.
In related news, council directed an amendment to the traffic control bylaw to eliminate the parking spot on the south side of Church Street, immediately east of Mowat Avenue, be drawn up for approval.
The Planning and Development executive committee, in response to citizens’ concerns, determined this will better facilitate southbound truck traffic on Mowat Avenue that is turning onto Church Street.

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