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The Weather Network
Oct. 16, 2019 | Wednesday
Editorials and Opinions
Editorial: Petty parking enforcement practices
File photo.

Service workers – the people who toil in Old Town’s stores, restaurants and attractions – are crucial to the commercial success of NOTL.

And for decades, service workers in Niagara-on-the-Lake have been parking on the street near the old Parliament Oak school property. They do it to avoid hefty parking fees downtown, while still being able to get to their jobs.

For decades, they’ve done so without hassle and without fear of being ticketed. My mother once served in this town, I once served in this town and I’ve known dozens, if not hundreds, of people who have served in this town. We always parked near the school.

Yet, suddenly, service workers are starting to get tickets.

This kind of enforcement, just like suddenly cracking down on overnight parking, is petty, and only hurts the people who live and work in our town. It’s a money grab and certainly is not rooted in public safety or security concerns.

Something needs to be clarified to town staff and council: When residents ask for better enforcement of bylaws, they’re talking more about things like busting short-term rentals, enforcing property standards and ensuring a quality of life for residents. They’re not talking about making sure officers keep busy handing out petty parking fines.

And why now? Is this the result of some zealous new plan to boost parking fine revenue? Is the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake in such poor financial condition that bylaw officers are being instructed to ticket the very people who help keep the tourist district alive and thriving?

By all means, ticket those who don’t pay or overstay their welcome in clearly marked spots.

But town councillors and Lord Mayor Betty Disero need to fix this new practice. This kind of sudden change to enforcement, when other, more important, bylaws go ignored, make our town look petty and mismanaged.

editor@niagaranow.com

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