A new towing pilot is starting in downtown Toronto so if you think your car has been stolen, it's probably just parked somewhere else. The Toronto Queen Street Towing Pilot begins on October 7 and is expected to run for six to eight weeks. The scheme is intended to finally help ease traffic and delays on Queen.
The pilot, introduced by Mayor John Tory and Councillor James Pasternak, Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee, is a data-driven measure that will run during the during afternoon rush hour within the six to eight week period, according to a news release. This pilot will run on Queen Street from Fallingbrook Road and Roncesvalles Avenue during afternoon rush hour, so watch out.
The main change introduced is that tow trucks will actually relocate illegally parked cars instead of towing them away in time-consuming fashion to police pounds or lots.
The relocation areas would include Cameron Street, Ryerson Avenue, Michael Sweet Avenue, and Stephanie Street, which are designated side parking streets. If that doesn't work or there's no space available, they'll be moved to other no parking or open locations.
According to the release, almost 11,000 parking or stopping violations were issued and approximately 2,400 vehicles were towed during rush hour on Queen Street in 2018.
"Traffic congestion caused by illegally parked vehicles is frustrating and dangerous for transit riders, cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers," says Mayor John Tory in the press release. "The sooner we can get those vehicles moved, and get others on their way, the better."
The other benefit to the pilot will be the faster response times for tow trucks, since they will be in the city and not required to drop off cars at the police pound. They're located outside of the downtown area, therefore making things much harder in terms of re-parking illegally parked cars.
"The towing of illegally stopped vehicles in our rush hour routes is a critical element in getting Toronto moving," says Superintendent Scott Baptist, Toronto Police Service, Traffic Operations Unit.
"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.”
So, what will happen to drivers who get their cars relocated? Well, they'll still receive a parking violation but they won't be charged the towing fee.
It should be noted, then, that this is in no way an invitation to park anywhere just to get your car moved. You'll still have to pay the price!
Park legally, guys.