Thursday, January 08, 2009

City Beat: Parking pads spark city debate

Attempts to change the Kafkaesque process that governs whether Torontonians can pave their front lawns and create parking spots were shot down yesterday at city hall - including a move that would have eased rules for disabled drivers.

City councillors are divided over this issue. Where I live now, it's no big deal because there is plenty of parking to go around. In the old neighbourhood, near St. Clair west, it's a hot issue because many houses do not have driveways and street parking is at a premium. We had a neighbour across the street who was unsuccessful in obtaining the green light to put a parking pad on her little front yard. She held a disabled sticker and had a nearby designated disabled spot, but snow was a big issue on our street and anyone parking on the street faced a real challenge digging out after snowfalls. Meanwhile, another neighbour simply built a parking pad, eliminating his lawn, and didn't bother to seek the permit. He's had it for years and hasn't had a problem, likely because the city doesn't have the staff or the budget to enforce its own bylaws. I guess sometimes it doesn't pay to follow the rules.

There are sound environmental arguments for limiting further parking pads. Still, many places on our old street have them now, either legally or illegally.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

Isn't better to get some of those cars off the street? City hall, grrr.

mister anchovy said...

If you pave a small front lawn, that water along with salt and whatever else goes right into the storm sewers. As well, front yard parking pads aren't very attractive. On the other hand, their endemic in some neighbourhoods in Toronto. On the street I used to live on, many of the houses already have parking pads. I should say that when we lived up there, we had a private driveway, rare for that area, and our front yard was a delightful jungle. Some readers may recall pictures I posted of it in the past.