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Burlington Increases Parking Fines During COVID-19

STOCK_Parking Enforcement

At our April 20 Burlington City Council, we unanimously approved a staff report to establish special enforcement areas and increased fines for parking violations due to the COVID-19 Emergency.

An increased penalty amount of $250 would be applied to specific parking infractions as noted Schedule 3 of the bylaw (TS-17-2020 Appendix A, COVID Parking Bylaw). Current parking penalties related to public health and safety issues (e.g. blocking fire routes, accessible parking, idling and blocking snow operations) range from $120 – $400. Staff chose the amount of $250 as it’s in line with this range and a high enough value to act as a deterrent.

Our enforcement officers will have discretion in applying these higher fees with the goal being education and compliance.

Here’s some background and rationale for the staff report:

In order to protect the health and safety of the public during the COVID-19 Pandemic, the City of Burlington has:

  • Declared a State of Emergency as of March 21, 2020 under the provisions of the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
  • Closed all city administrative and recreation facilities until at least June 30 including parks, playgrounds, sports fields and their associated parking lots to discourage gatherings greater than five (5) people as per Ontario Regulation 52/20 made under the Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act.
  • Converted parking lots adjacent to Spencer Smith and Beachway Park Trail to permit only parking for hospital staff at Joseph Brant Hospital.
  • Implemented a physical distancing by-law which requires all members of the public to remain at least two (2) metres from those who do not reside in their household.

Despite these measures, parking enforcement has been responding to areas across the city where people are violating parking regulations in order to access and gather at closed facilities. Infractions include driving over curbs to access closed parking areas, parking on unpaved shoulders and bike lanes on high speed and arterial roadways and parking in permit only areas reserved for medical personnel.

In an effort to further discourage this behavior, it is recommended that City of Burlington Parking and Idling By-law 39-2016 be amended to create special parking enforcement areas with increased fines for parking infractions surrounding locations closed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The amendment would be in effect for the duration of the declared COVID-19 emergency.

Special Enforcement Areas would include parking lots and roadways surrounding areas closed as part of the COVID-19 Emergency as follows:

  • Municipally owned parks, sports fields, paths, trails, recreation centres, arenas and municipally owned parking lots.
  • Temporary permit parking areas intended for medical personnel surrounding Joseph Brant Hospital
  • Conservation Areas
  • The Bruce Trail

MY TAKE:

I am in full support of this staff report. It is incredibly important that while we continue our best efforts to slow down the spread of COVID-19 we do everything we can to discourage residents from gathering in public places — these special parking enforcement areas with higher penalties will do just that.

— Mayor Marianne Meed Ward

RELATED LINK:

PLEASE NOTE: To stay updated on what the City of Burlington is doing regarding COVID-19, please visit the dedicated pages burlington.ca/coronavirus (and subscribe) and bit.ly/mayormeedwardCOVID19updates, and our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page — bit.ly/COVID19BurlingtonFAQ that are updated as new information becomes available.

A Burlington COVID-19 Task Force has been created to help support our community through this unprecedented emergency — updates will be provided at burlington.ca/COVID19taskforce.

To report an incident of non-compliance with provincial emergency orders, please contact the Halton Regional Police Service COVID-19 Hotline: 905-825-4722.

We’ve also created a dedicated page to feature the local organizations and businesses that have inspired us during the COVID-19 pandemic by taking action to support our community in new and creative ways — head to bit.ly/covidwallofinspiration.

HELPFUL RESOURCES & RELATED LINKS:

*Posted by John Bkila, Mayor’s Media and Digital Communications Specialist

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