August 13, 2013
I recently received an e-mail from a long-time resident of our Town. After a nearly six decades of ‘ticket-free’ driving, she had received her first parking offense and, as is her way, she immediately thought of how her parking ‘lesson’ might benefit others in our community. On the day she received her ticket, circumstances forced her to park her car temporarily on the roadway in front of her home; unfortunately, she parked facing traffic – the wrong way – on the street. Within the hour one of the Town’s Parking Control Officers had ticketed her vehicle for the offense.
When she went to move her car back into her driveway, she discovered a parking ticket “for parking the wrong way”. In all her time driving, she had never heard of such a thing and, according to many of her friends, neither had they. I want to remind you that this resident did not write to me to complain about receiving a ticket but only to ask if there was a way we at the Town could publicize the regulations of our parking by-law so that others would not commit the same parking infraction.
The Town has, in fact, published some of the more common parking rules in our community on our website and these include the bylaw that prohibits “vehicles parked facing the wrong direction on Town streets”. For more detailed information, you may want to take a look at the webpage http://www.caledon.ca/en/live/parking.asp which explains the Town’s Parking By-Law.
I asked our Manager of Enforcement to help me understand why parking your car facing the wrong direction is an infraction at all. He advised me that in such circumstances, there is risk to drivers, bicycle riders or other road users when vehicles are parked on the wrong side of the street particularly when they need to merge into traffic from the parked position. The driver needs to be wary of moving vehicles on both sides of the street and merge in a way that may confuse other drivers who are using the road. The bottom line is that parking facing the wrong way can pose very serious safety issues for the car owner and others using the roadway. Most municipalities have similar prohibitions about parking facing traffic.
On another parking issue, the Town has recently implemented an overnight parking exemption program. Caledon residents who wish to apply for an exemption will now be able to do so easily through our online system at http://www.caledon.ca/overnightparking. With the goal of improving customer service, efficiency and productivity by phasing out the voice mail system, this new approach allows residents to keep track of how many exemptions they have used in the calendar year and will give them the option to book exemptions in advance. The Town prohibits on-street parking from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. and those who are not able to park their vehicle(s) in their driveway due to overnight guests, driveway repairs or special functions may choose to apply for an exemption for up to ten days per calendar year, per vehicle licence plate.
Parking is an issue in most communities but by communicating our parking rules and making options easily available, the Town of Caledon continues to improve services to our residents.