Street parking bylaws being reviewed by Council

April 2, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Restricting street parking to one side of the road throughout Orangeville is currently being reviewed by Town Council.   

Deputy Mayor Andy Macintosh brought forward the issue of emergency vehicles struggling to get down certain streets that permit parking on both sides about 18 months ago and Town staff presented a report on the issue during Council’s March 22 meeting.

At that time, Council voted to receive the report and solicit public input on the issue. At a later date, less than six months from now, a report summarizing the consultation will be brought back to Council and a final decision on parking restrictions will be made.

“I’m not necessarily bringing this forward for the convenience of the general public, but as a safety issue,” noted Deputy Mayor Macintosh, who served as Orangeville’s fire chief from 2000 to 2016.

“As you know, in my previous life, we had dealings with this and it did cause problems, and a number of years ago, I did bring it to Council’s attention and it did get turned down at the time.”

Deputy Mayor Macintosh says while there’s nothing anyone can say to change his mind on this safety issue, he has no objection to public consultation taking place, which was the wish of Council.

Coun. Debbie Sherwood noted the public should be able to provide input on whether the restricting of parking to one side of the street should be done on a street-by-street basis, as the purchase of signage for implementation comes at a considerable cost that wasn’t budget for this year.

“I want more public engagement because we did get a bit of a backlash for not giving public engagement for the lowering of the street speed [from 50 to 40] through the whole town,” she said.

Coun. Sherwood added that she liked the idea of implementing restrictions on roads that are under a certain width, which was an option mentioned in Town staff’s report to Council, but noted that consultation from the public would be beneficial before a final decision is made.

“I think my point I’m trying to get through is that some streets just will not want this and need it,” said Coun. Sherwood. “If it’s a more straight road, there might be no issue with emergency [vehicles], so to implement this town wide could cause some problems in certain neighbourhoods.”

Deputy Mayor Macintosh said it’s important to note that emergency vehicles only start having trouble travelling down streets that permit parking on both sides when the winter sets in.

“Even though a road may look nice and wide right now, we got to consider what it’s like in February. That’s when we run into problems. Just keep that in mind when we get down to the nuts and bolts,” he remarked.

Manager of infrastructure services for the Town, Douglas Jones noted that in Ontario, every subdivision constructed since 1997 only permits parking to one side of the road due to access issues for emergency service vehicles.

In regards to the timeliness of dealing with the parking issue, Coun. Grant Peters said he has no problem waiting six months for the public consultation.

“I do tend to agree with the deputy mayor in terms of the benefits of implementing this, but collectively, we had agreed to try and improve public participation in the process, so I think we can afford another few months,” he noted.


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