Not much sympathy for drivers who get parking tickets right after paid time expires
There’s a lot of angry, depressed people out there, judging by the cranky reaction to the city’s 10-minute grace period for overtime parking.
My Wednesday Fixer column was about city councillors Josh Matlow and Michael Thompson, who are working together to persuade Toronto police to instruct its parking enforcement officers to not issue tickets for overtime parking until 10 minutes after paid parking has expired.
The city approved the grace period last summer, but has done nothing to inform drivers that they can cancel a ticket at a parking tag operations office, or online.
In conversations I had with Matlow and Thompson, both agreed it would be fairer if parking cops held back on a ticket until 10 minutes after paid parking ran out, instead of making people jump through hoops to cancel it.
But the reaction of readers who posted comments about it on the star.com is downright hostile, with some saying drivers who are even one minute late should shut up and pay the ticket.
“If you’re not paid, you should get a ticket,” said Alex Downtown. “If you can’t read the sign or ticket, you should not be permitted to drive.”
“Give me a break and give them tickets!” said Notinapanic. “Really, this is ridiculous!”
“Why even charge people for parking? Let’s give them a 24-hour grace period,” said MiltonCon. “After all, we can hardly expect grown adults to be responsible for their own actions.
“Nice to see her Lordship Fiona Crean (the city ombudsman) sticking her highly paid nose into a very trivial matter.”
(Hey Milt, couldn’t you find a way to drag former Mayor David Miller into it?)
“All the problems this city faces and this is what we are concerned about?” asked Karlin2T.
Matlow made a good point: Storefront retailers have complained that when parking cops are johnny on the spot to issue a $30 ticket within a couple minutes of the expiry of paid time, shoppers get angry and feel preyed upon.
To ask police to extend a grace period already approved by city council, rather than put the onus on people to figure out they’re entitled to it, and then make a special trip to one of four city offices, seems like a good solution.
It could just be the time of year, when seasonal affective disorder (SAD) peaks, but it’s hard to believe that extending a courtesy would make people so resentful.
I hope every one of them gets a couple tickets this week.