Toronto City Councillors will be looking into charging motorcycles parking in the city of Toronto. Motorcyclists have not had to pay for parking in Toronto since a late October, 2005 Council meeting. After what seems like an endless unslaught of budget cuts to public services from Mayor Rob Ford’s City Hall that has left Toronto hearts crying, will motorcyclists be the next victims or will Toronto Councillors remember that it was actually costing them to charge parking for motorcycles in the first place?
There were several reasons why motorcycles were exempt from parking to begin with. One, mentioned on the notes from City Council meeting highlights from October, 2005 states:
“Operators of motorcycles will benefit from a decision to give them free parking on Toronto streets. Council agreed to amend City bylaws in order to exempt motorcycles from parking fees at on-street parking meters/machines. The rationale is that parking receipts tend to disappear from parked motorcycles, resulting in unwarranted parking fines.” (Toronto City Council Highlights)
What happened to those dissapearing parking receipts? Some were blown away, others were stolen right off of motorcycles and put on to the dashboards of cars. What happened after that? Endless Toronto motorcycle parking tickets were fought in court. The proceedings were costing the city an endless amount of dollars. An increasing number of motorcyclists began prooving their innocence via credit card statements and other means, and more and more court cases were dismissed, while the court costs continued to skyrocket.
By offering free parking to motorcyclists the city was saving a fortune. Moreover, in Toronto, Canada’s most densely populated city, motorcycles provided an affordable alternative means of transportation. Gas prices were reaching new heights, as they continue to today, and condos continued to soar even higher above the city’s skyline as traffic got further and further and rushour seemed endless. Not a lot has changed, and Toronto Councillors should be as eager to promote a fuel-efficient means of transportation that alleviates congestion now as they were then.
Riders across the city have their own concerns: “Forcing scooters to pay for parking on city streets will also have this unintended consequence: it will hurt local small businesses. I use my scooter all the time for short shopping trips to local businesses in the Beach – because I can park for free while I pick up a few groceries, etc. If I have to pay to park – and risk getting a ticket because someone steals my pay & display – I simply won’t shop locally anymore. So the politicos will force me to the big chains and big box stores where I can park.” (R J – Toronto Moto Scooter Club)
I urge all Toronto motorcyclists to do the following:
- Please click here to lookup your local Councillor and share how you feel about the issue of motorcycle parking in Toronto.
- Encourage other motorcyclists and scooterists, friends and family to do the same.
- Leave a comment or a like on this page to let others know you’ve done your part and our efforts aren’t in vain.