Sidewalk parkers move on!

A reader responded to a previous gripe here about motorists that park on sidewalks. He suggested I conspicuously take a picture of the scofflaw.

So when I came across this car on Preston Street, I first noticed that there were abundant on street parking spaces, and off street ones too in the Preston Hardware lot across the road. I stopped in front of Mr Motorist and spent a little bit of time setting up the picture. With a little squeak of the tires (sort of an attempted squeal, but he wasn’t going fast enough) he pulled out and parked legally in space fifty feet further down the street. He didn’t feed the meter. Hmm.

So I tried it again, a bit later, this time in front of City Hall. I don’t recall there being a big problem before with motorists parking up close to the Lisgar entrance, but now they just seem to ignore the bollards and block the pedestrian walkways.


When I came out, there was a different white truck in the spot. So I whipped out the camera, the driver sees me, and presto, van rolls away. A coincidence? Or guilty conscience?



this pictogram reads: park here please

9 thoughts on “Sidewalk parkers move on!

  1. Check out the sidewalk parking lot on Bay at Laurier, right beside the condo. There’s four cars there every day, parked right under the four “No parking” signs that the city put up, presumably so people would know where to park.

  2. Part of what’s going on at City Hall is that there are about half a dozen spaces that are explicitly reserved for media, with a detailed sign explaining it and everything, but lots of people ignore that rule and it’s never enforced, so reporters and crews visiting city hall to cover something find the spots filled up with others — contractors’ pickup trucks, trailers, Andy Haydon — and park between the bollards.

    There’s courier parking across the way that has a 15-minute time limit and is explicitly for, well, couriers. The rule isn’t enforced there, either, so couriers park wherever.

  3. I echo David’s comments, but I will add that occasional selective enforcement occurs at city hall. For instance, I have received a warning ticket for parking between the bollards despite parking there almost daily, registering my car with security and displaying my media pass in my car (as non-media vehicles filling the media parking). Meanwhile, media-branded vehicles beside my car had no such tickets.
    Suffice to say, parking at city hall is an ongoing challenge for those of us who have to be there daily, and who must drive as an unfortunate side effect of our jobs.
    But unlike those who park directly on the sidewalk or in bike lanes, cars at city hall rarely block the bike/pedestrian routes completely.
    Also, check out @failpark_yow on Twitter.

  4. David re Bay/Laurier: there used to be large concrete planters between the trees to prevent parking, when they were removed and parking lines painted, my quick call to our Councilor got them painted out and no parking signs installed. But as you point out, they are still parked there, and often blocking parts of the sidewalk. Only solution: phone 311 (repeatedly !) and complain.

    David & Laura: that your “reserved” spots are used (presumably by others) should be resolved by complaining and getting parking rules enforced. It is not resolved by shifting your cars to park in the “no parking” zone, especially since so many of the vehicles there pull up right some tight to the pic nic table (wouldn’t want to block cars on the driveway, would you?) so that twice last week there were no room for a ped to pass by between the cars and the building, which is where the sidewalks deliver peds … I often see the CBC bicycles parked on the west side of the building right by the entrance, which do not block the sidewalks.
    Half-blocking the sidewalks is better than totally blocking the sidewalks; but the best is to not park on them at all.

  5. The parking situation in front of city hall reminds me of my discomfort with those fancy dutch schemes of undifferentiated pavements, removing all signs, etc. The combined ped-cyclist-drop off-mediaparking zone in front of city hall doesn’t really function with all modes equal. It is a driveway first and foremost, with motorists asserting ownership of the space, and since the bollards to keep vehciles at bay are sufficiently far apart for cars to creep in, well, parkers do.

    I am also reminded of “quiet” suburban streets with no sidewalks, where peds are supposed to “share” the asphalt with vehicles. You dont’ have to frequent those streets very much to discover that that they are streets, for motorists, and peds are suffered only to extent that they stay out of the way. Someday, maybe we will all share … but until then, good fences etc.

  6. For the record, I’ve never parked in those no-parking zones. I usually walk to work; when I drive, it’s usually because I have to get there early enough that there’s no problem parking. I probably wouldn’t chance leaving my car in a no-parking area even if it came up.

    I have some sympathy for the people who do, though. You get there, all the spaces are full — several of them with people who don’t belong — and you can go and complain at the information desk and maybe they can get the person in charge and he comes along and checks it out and probably just leaves a warning card. Or MAYBE he calls a tow truck. The whole operation takes 45 minutes, and in the meantime you (1) had to put your vehicle somewhere anyway so you could go in and complain, and (2) are missing whatever you’re supposed to be covering.

    They SHOULD just enforce the rules.

    In that area, I’ve never been clear whether I’m allowed to bike. Or whether there’s a difference between the “driveway” part and the more sidewalky part between City Hall and the courthouse. Lots of people do, including bylaw officers, so I assume it’s permitted, but pedestrians don’t seem to like it much, and I can certainly understand why.

  7. The city needs to stop providing any parking at all. City staff? Pay the monthly fee or take the bus. Postmedia? Pay for parking for your staff.

    As long as cars reign triumphant in City Hall, they will also reign triumphant in city planning. Once City staff are pushed into paying their own way, taking the bus or riding their bikes we will see improvements. Until then, it’s AutoTown.

  8. I’m with David P on this one. The only special parking privileges should be for the disabled and for deliveries. If the city wants media to come cover something then they should give them parking chits for the garage. The rest of the time media should be treated like any other business.

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