Mayor John Tory and Councillor James Pasternak (Ward 6 York Centre), Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, were joined by members of Toronto Police Service’s Parking Enforcement Unit to announce a new towing pilot program along Queen Street beginning Monday, October 7.
The Queen Street Towing Pilot is a data-driven measure that will run approximately six to eight weeks during afternoon rush hour. The pilot location is Queen Street between Fallingbrook Road (to the east) and Roncesvalles Avenue (to the west). Tow trucks will relocate vehicles that are illegally parked along Queen Street to designated side streets (Cameron Street, Ryerson Avenue, Michael Sweet Avenue and Stephanie Street) or move them to other no parking/open locations.
Police pounds are located outside of the downtown area, requiring up to 90 minutes for a tow truck to move one illegally parked vehicle and then return for others. It’s expected that this pilot will result in shorter tow truck response times and contribute to fewer delays along Queen Street.
Drivers of vehicles that are relocated/towed from Queen Street during the pilot period will receive a parking violation notice but the towing fee will be waived.
In 2018, almost 11,000 parking/stopping violations were issued and approximately 2,400 vehicles were towed during the rush hour period on Queen Street. Police identified the afternoon rush period on Queen Street as particularly challenging due to cars parking and stopping illegally. Each day, approximately 45 tickets are written and 10 vehicles are towed on Queen Street.
If successful, City staff and police would explore opportunities to run this program during morning and afternoon rush hour periods on other routes. Feedback and data gathered from the pilot may also inform future congestion strategies, including updates to the City of Toronto’s Congestion Management Plan.
More information about the Queen Street Towing Pilot is available at http://www.toronto.ca/services-payments/streets-parking-transportation/traffic-management/queen-street-towing-pilot/.
More information about the Congestion Management Plan is available at http://www.toronto.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/96a1-CMP-2016-2020_Final_Nov20_Web-a.pdf.
“Traffic congestion caused by illegally parked vehicles is frustrating and dangerous for transit riders, cyclists, pedestrians and drivers. The sooner we can get those vehicles moved, and get others on their way, the better. I look forward to seeing the results of this pilot and I’m confident it will help us in our ongoing efforts to combat congestion on Queen Street and on other busy routes in Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory
“Unnecessary travel delays can have negative impacts for everyone who lives and works in Toronto. We know that towing vehicles is an effective way to keep traffic moving and this pilot is an opportunity to improve efficiency by clearing vehicles sooner which in turn supports improved reliability for drivers on our roads.”
– Councillor James Pasternak
“The towing of illegally stopped vehicles in our rush hour routes is a critical element in getting Toronto moving. This pilot will allow us to test new concepts and will help inform decisions that we hope will make traffic move more efficiently in our city.”
– Superintendent Scott Baptist, Toronto Police Service, Traffic Operations Unit
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