Out-of-town drivers trying find parking spots at the handful of available places in Ontario’s trucking heartland are complaining that they are being squeezed out by illegally parked trucks, abandoned vehicles and dropped trailers.
Parking enforcement officers are acting on complaints, say officials in Peel Region’s cities of Mississauga and Brampton, and the town of Caledon.
Michael, a longhaul driver from New Brunswick was left frustrated and worried on a recent evening as he failed to find a parking spot at a truck stop in Mississauga. Running out of drive time, he was forced to park on the street.
“I was lucky I didn’t get a ticket. People are dropping tailers next to a sign saying, ‘no dropping trailers’, and they sit there for weeks,” he said.
Staff at the truck stop in question said they do not complain to the city, but bylaw officers conduct regular checks in the parking lot and issue tickets to illegally parked vehicles.
“If they are parked illegally, they will be ticketed,” an employee said.
But on private properties, authorities act if the owner complains.
Mississauga’s enforcement boss said parking enforcement officers enforce the law against illegally parked commercial vehicles at truck stops and on private property at the request of the property owner. “Officers proactively and reactively enforce and issue infractions for violations,” Georgios Fthenos told TruckNews.com.
Private property requests are complaint-driven in the city and municipal roadways are enforced both proactively and reactively.
The City of Brampton is aware of reports of illegal parking of trailers and trucks in private lots, an official said. The city works with private parking agencies and property owners to provide training that will allow property owners to enforce parking regulations on private property. This includes the ticketing and possible removal of vehicles deemed to be in contravention of bylaws.
Officers can enforce bylaws on private and public properties. For illegal parking occurring on private property in Brampton, the owner can also employ the services of a private parking agency for enforcement, the official said. The agency’s officers can issue administrative monetary penalties to vehicles contravening provisions of the traffic bylaw and can tow vehicles from the property.
Driver Michael alleges that parking spots are occupied by dropped trailers, illegally parked and abandoned vehicles.
Charges laid if evidence found
“There are signs saying 30 minutes parking and obviously the trucks are there for more than 30 minutes. They should be ticketed and towed,” he said.
Caledon sends officers to investigate complaints or information about trucks and trailers parked illegally on private and public properties, said John DeCourcy, the town’s acting director, building and municipal law enforcement services. If evidence is found and the property is not zoned for this, charges are laid.
Mississauga’s Fthenos said vehicles parked on private property may be seized at any time at the request of the property owner or authorized individual. Parking enforcement officials would coordinate the tow with the authorized individual and Peel Regional Police.
Owners can rent out space
Caledon’s DeCourcy said if a property is zoned to allow for truck and trailer parking, the owners can rent out space and there is no requirement to make parking available to the public.
In Mississauga, private property owners can allocate parking spaces as they see fit. If the owner wishes to “rent” or “otherwise charge for the use or receive consideration for the use of the parking space, a parking lot business license may be required, Fthenos said.
Trucker Michael was back at the same truck stop a couple of weeks later. He found a parking spot for the night, but he said illegally parked trucks and dropped trailers continue to take up spaces.
And until the property owners complain, that equipment is not going anywhere.
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