Toronto resumes towing vehicles parked in rush hour zones today

Parking enforcement officers in Toronto will once again be towing vehicles parked in rush hour zones as traffic volumes in the city return to pre-pandemic levels.

Enforcement of designated rush hour routes was paused during the COVID-19 pandemic but enforcement of the by-laws resumed last week. As of Monday, tow trucks will now be targeting any vehicles parked during restricted hours — typically from 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

A $150 fine will be issued for pulling over in any area with time restricted parking and the same fine will be issued for stopping in a bicycle lane. This is in addition to the cost of hundreds of dollars to recover a towed vehicle from an impound lot.

“With the return of pre-pandemic traffic volumes in the city, the resumption of traffic signal and intersection enforcement and routine rush hour-related parking enforcement activities are necessary to keep motorists and pedestrians safe,” Traffic Services Superintendent Scott Baptist previously said in a statement.

“The enforcement of these regulations will help keep our city moving and facilitate getting people where they’re going, hopefully with as little disruption as possible.”

The increased fines will also be enforced on residential streets with school zones that restrict parking between 8 and 9 a.m.

The rules also apply to courier and delivery vehicles.

Mayor Tory vows to address traffic, delays

The City has been forced to re-examine several initiatives brought forward during the pandemic including the weekly ActiveTo road closures during the summer months.

The closures were introduced in 2020 to help give residents more room for physical activity during the warmer months by shutting down some of the city’s major roadways each weekend. In a recent report, City of Toronto Transportation Services staff says the road closures should end.

Recent data released by the City of Toronto showed that closing major Toronto routes, including Lake Shore Boulevard West, has hurt city-wide travel times.

Last month, Mayor John Tory and Toronto Police Services (TPS) announced the “Keep Toronto Moving” traffic campaign, which the Mayor says will focus on addressing traffic flow in the city.

“I have heard that frustration, which is why I began a dialogue with the police chief about what we can all do together,” said Tory. “I know that they can be frustrating whether you’re walking or riding a bike, or in a car or transit vehicle.”

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