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Free Motorcycle Parking On the Way Out in Toronto

If the local political potentates have their way, free parking for motorcyclists in Toronto might become a thing of the past.

City council members Adam Vaughan and Joe Mihevc were the only two dissenters to vote against reviewing the long standing policy. According to Vaughan, motorcycles and electric scooters are “far less burdensome” forms transportation and thus deserve their current exempt status.

“I don’t think we should be charging them the same as cars when they don’t take up a full parking spot,” Vaughan said. “This is another cash grab by the Ford administration and yet we are not helping ease congestion.”

Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford, said he thinks motorcycles should have to pay to park.

The Toronto City Council seems to agree and that esteemed body voted 28-2 for a measure which would have the city staff to review motorcycles and scooters free parking some time in February. In a move sure to draw the ire of bikers, Toronto budget director Mike Del Grande and councilor Kristyn Wong-Tam led the charge to review the ordinance which allows  motorcycles and scooters an exemption from paying for street parking.

And if that’s not enough to rile the feathers of two-wheeled devotees, the same review process will also be used to determine whether or not Toronto will continue to exempt motorcycles from paying for long-term, on-street parking as well.

A parking enforcement officer walks past two motorcycles parked on Albert St. in Toronto. (CRAIG ROBERTSON/Toronto Sun)

 

CEO of the Canadian Motorcycle Association, Marilynn Bastedo, , said taking away free parking for motorcycles would be a “backward step.”

“Many forward looking cities, especially in Europe, recognize that by encouraging two-wheeled transportation, congestion and pollution is greatly reduced,” said Bastedo. “The loss of parking revenues is miniscule compared to the benefits.”

Bastedo said the city would be sending the wrong message to voters and that changing the current law would indicate that  “we don’t care about reducing pollution and congestion” and added “it’s easy to target small groups in our community who have little influence on the decision making process.”


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