City considers boulevard parking

New bylaw would allow end-of-driveway parking from May to October

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

A proposed change to London’s parking bylaws could save drivers from getting dinged with a $30 ticket.

Currently, the city has a bylaw prohibiting vehicles from blocking the sidewalk while parked in a driveway. The reason given for the bylaw has been to allow snowplows to clear the sidewalks during the winter months.

However, since parking is becoming a growing problem in the city, London’s environment and transportation committee has put forward a motion to allow for “boulevard parking” from May to October.

“Part of it was because some of [the city councillors] have been trying to get overnight parking on the street during the summer,” Cheryl Miller, councillor for Ward 14 and chairperson of the committee, said. “This is a bit of a compromise,” she added.

“Since the city still prohibits overnight parking through its 3-5 a.m. prohibition, there are times when people might have visitors ... when parking in that area would be a benefit,” Dave Leckie, London’s director of roads and transportation, agreed.

Another reason to permit such parking arrangements is to circumvent boulevard deterioration, as noted in the motion.

“For the majority of properties the vehicle must be parallel to the road/sidewalk due to the lack of space ... This type of maneuver, especially during wet weather, can quickly deteriorate the condition of the boulevard,” the motion read.

Yet Miller does not think the proposal will make it through the April 14 council meeting.

“There’s a mentality on council that they love being a “university town,” but without the university students,” she said, explaining some see the motion as an allowance for student over-parking.

Miller reiterated the motion was intended for London’s residents.

“I have to represent the people who live here full time, so I think we have to make bylaws that are reflective of our community as a community and not make bylaws and rules strictly for students.

“The sky is not always falling.”

Leckie echoed Miller’s sentiments about the motion: “The bigger pushback might be from people who do not want to see their neighbourhoods look like jammed parking lots with driveways full and overflowing into the boulevard.”

Leckie also noted the potential for abuse by some. “If people aren’t careful of parking exactly in [the boulevard] area and overlap the sidewalk where they might be in the way for pedestrians ... that could be an issue,” he said.

Either way, if the motion passes the city will not have to worry about a loss of revenue.

City statistics for the bylaw show only 309 tickets were handed out for the offence last year " a mere half of a per cent of all tickets in the city " though 65 per cent of those tickets were issued during summer months.

If passed, the bylaw would take effect as soon as next month for a one-year trial.

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