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City

Toronto street parking gets ugly in wake of snowstorm

Posted by Chris Bateman / February 11, 2013

toronto streetcar blockageThe trouble with plowing the streets (now there's an opening) is that the snow tends to get pushed into giant drifts that obstruct the curbside lane. Drivers trying to find a spot to park then have to squeeze into small gaps, often further from the sidewalk than normal, and flirt with causing an obstruction to a passing streetcar.

This weekend was a particularly bad example. The rail was blocked on practically every major route - Dundas, King, Queen, Carlton - sometimes all at the same time. In some cases cars were towed, other times vigilante riders took matters into their own hands and shifted the scofflaws manually. In total, the TTC calculates its streetcars were delayed a total of 45 hours from Friday to Sunday.

ttc streetcarTo combat this, the city could have declared an official snow emergency and activated bylaws that prohibit all parking and stopping on major transit routes. There aren't any set rules on what constitutes such an emergency, only that a "significant" amount of snow must fall within an eight-hour period. Regardless, nothing happened, but the problems of this weekend speak to a larger issue when it comes to keeping transit moving.

As I wrote a few weeks back, Toronto has already tried banning street parking and much of the core is still off limits during rush hour. Expanding restrictions beyond has been something of a contentious issue but it might make sense to tweak the existing rules so transit doesn't grind to a halt in the face of wonky parking.

In Toronto, it would be easy to frame any discussion on the removal or restriction of parking spaces as another salvo in the "war on the car," but perhaps we should take a step back, look at the numbers, and see what the city can really do to ensure transit moves smoothly all year round.

As the problem repeated itself over the weekend, Toronto police acted quicker to tow cars that were blocking the rail. Having a vehicle impounded typically costs between $150 and $230, though it seems to vary depending on which company carries out the work.

Officially there were 102 stoppages between Friday and Sunday caused by autos parking afoul of the rail, to use the official term. According to the TTC's Brad Ross, the incidents delayed streetcars by an average of 25 minutes.

Should tow trucks be assigned to streetcar routes in the immediate aftermath of a storm or is educating drivers about parking next to windrows the answer? Should there be bigger fines for drivers that block streetcars? Add your thoughts below.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: "Roncesvalles Traffic Chaos 3" by jer1961/blogTO Flickr pool and Twitter.

Discussion

89 Comments

Nick / February 11, 2013 at 01:11 pm
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Toronto does such a bad job of removing snow - let's look to Montreal as to how to do things right. Siren sounds, people have 15 minutes to move their parked cars, trucks and graders come in, snow's removed. Done. Instead here we endure months of packed icy snow or inches of slush in parking areas. Phooey.
Downtown Guy / February 11, 2013 at 01:12 pm
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A great way to fix this.... subways.

Toronto infrastructure is a joke.
Marc replying to a comment from Downtown Guy / February 11, 2013 at 01:18 pm
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No. Spending billions to dollars to bury rail so a few hundred can have street parking during snow events that happen once or twice a year is not a great way to fix it.

Declare the snow emergency, tow the cars.
Kris / February 11, 2013 at 01:21 pm
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Another great reason to ditch streetcars in favour of electric buses. They run on the same wires without the need to continually replace tracks. And guess what, they can steer around obstructions! Works great in Vancouver.
Andrew / February 11, 2013 at 01:26 pm
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Snow or no snow, morons obstructing traffic. Tow 'em!
Lucy / February 11, 2013 at 01:28 pm
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Tow them. Too many people think that they should be able to drive/park during a major snowstorm just as they would on a summer's day. Not happening.
Michael / February 11, 2013 at 01:29 pm
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I think that the TTC should be allowed to ram and damage the of30fenders cars since the car driver has knowingly parked in teh path of a 30 Ton street car.
Michael replying to a comment from Michael / February 11, 2013 at 01:31 pm
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I had to retype the previous note...too many typos.

I think that the TTC should be allowed to ram and damage the offenders cars since the car driver has knowingly parked in the path of a 30 Ton street car, they should take responsibility for the damages and a fine on top of it all.
TTC / February 11, 2013 at 01:32 pm
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We are working on creating streetcar plows that will plow through cars parked by morons that block our 1800s style public transit. However, to do so we will have ton increase our transit fare from $3.00 to $300.00, and start charging fares for transfers. Thank you for your patience.
marmar replying to a comment from Michael / February 11, 2013 at 01:38 pm
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Totally agree. A lot of these streetcar drivers were just shy. There were 6 streetcars backed up at gerrard and broadview because of a car that would have had its rearview tapped at the very most. like just go for it.
LA replying to a comment from TTC / February 11, 2013 at 01:41 pm
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Hahahaha!!! Best comment ever!!!!!
Al / February 11, 2013 at 01:46 pm
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Replace streetcars with monster trucks.
Alex / February 11, 2013 at 01:47 pm
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What about all the idiots that left their cars parked on the street during the snowstorm? A bunch of side streets near me are now one lane because people left their cars parked on the street and they got plowed in. People just need to be educated on basic winter driving behaviour, they seem to have serious issues with it.

During and after a snowstorm like this one they should just ban all street parking.
Jonathan / February 11, 2013 at 01:50 pm
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Get rid of the bloody streetcars. They're antiquated and inferior to almost every other mode of transportation.
phil / February 11, 2013 at 01:56 pm
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like a user above mentioned. follow what montreal does. and not just for the sake of street cars. they have trucks that suck in all the snow and it goes into a dump truck right behind it. no more plughing snow to the side of the road. make it dissapear!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE6N7CDV-9s 4:50 mark
David / February 11, 2013 at 01:57 pm
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Charging parked cars fines or towing fees because the city of Toronto doesn't know how to deal with snow and snow removal doesn't make much sense either.
jer replying to a comment from Alex / February 11, 2013 at 01:59 pm
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I always wondered about those "No Parking/Snow Route" signs... Why didn't the city implement that. I was on some side streets around Summerhill yesterday and I am very glad no one came in the other direction otherwise I am not sure what we would have done!

The thing about getting people off the side street at night is where do they move the car to? Most don't have driveway parking/etc. There has to be some kind of system in place where cars can be moved and roads plowed. In other cities there is no on street parking allowed at all from 2am to 6am in the winter season but that wouldn't fly for residential streets in Toronto... Maybe could work for paid street parking though.

steve replying to a comment from phil / February 11, 2013 at 02:03 pm
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First you need enough snow to justify that kind of expense. Toronto gets the kind of snow we saw last week once every two or three years.
David / February 11, 2013 at 02:06 pm
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To a couple people who are complaining about people leaving their cars parked on the side of the road during a snowstorm, get some perspective. Where are they supposed to move their car? This city was not at all designed for winter and is terribly managed. The actual blame needs to be put on those who run the city and have no idea how to deal with cars, transit, and snow removal.
Fig / February 11, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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I think this particular snowfall warranted declaring the "emergency" and utilizing extra tow trucks to remove the cars more quickly. I was monitoring the "TTCing" account on Twitter on the weekend - cars blocking streetcars was a major issue.
Rob replying to a comment from Jonathan / February 11, 2013 at 02:15 pm
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NO.

Get rid of the parking on routes that have streetcars. Numerous cities have no problems running streetcar lines... but they also don't have weird car-centric policies preventing the vehicle from looking like a second class mode of transportation for a freaking nanosecond.

Think about the next time you're stuck on Queen behind a streetcar. Wouldn't it be awesome to, you know, get around it on your own lane?
Graeme / February 11, 2013 at 02:23 pm
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I'm actually surprised to hear that snowplows caused this much drama. I've only seen 3 all winter living in the Little Italy area, and 2 of them came after the snow stopped. Still haven't seen (or seen evidence of) a sidewalk plow. I suppose this is what counts as "Gravy"
cram / February 11, 2013 at 02:29 pm
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to steve's point - we get this kind of snow every few years - a day or two of inconvenience is just that.

agree that streetcars are from the 20s and shoulda been left there but Vancouver's electric buses are a pretty big failure in the snow - so i'm not sure that would solve the problem
Jason Cowell / February 11, 2013 at 02:55 pm
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Death to streetcars! Those dinosaurs should be put to rest. I agree with the electric busses! Immensely more economical as well.

anthony / February 11, 2013 at 02:57 pm
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Honestly, it happens maybe 2 or three times every couple of years. Take the day off if you can, give the day off if you can. Have a little patience and enjoy the change of pace.
TG / February 11, 2013 at 02:58 pm
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Would have taken 2-3 hours after the first plows came through and blocked the lane to put up some no parking signs where there was no room. But the city wouldn't have made money on fines that way.
Skye replying to a comment from David / February 11, 2013 at 03:11 pm
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Exactly. My street is one of many where residents have street parking permits because their houses have no driveways. Where are their cars supposed to go? Stored on their side beside the garbage cans until the snow is gone?

Maybe what we need are agreements in place where residents like these can park for free in city-owned lots when a snow emergency is declared. But that sounds like wishful thinking...
Joey / February 11, 2013 at 03:11 pm
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I guess you anti-streetcar morons were too busy being snarky to remember that the car is also a technology that was invented in the 1800s? I suppose we should get rid of all streetcars/cars and travel on Segways?
Anna G / February 11, 2013 at 03:22 pm
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Bad photo to accompany article...where are the giant snow drifts?
KDizzle53 / February 11, 2013 at 03:26 pm
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"In total, the TTC calculates its streetcars were delayed a total of 45 hours from Friday to Sunday."

Felt longer.
Liberty Villain / February 11, 2013 at 03:30 pm
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There is really a simple solution... snow or no snow, cars shouldn't be allowed to park on any single direction, two-lane, shared streetcar routes. Even during the summer months, a parked car on one of these routes wreaks all kinds of havoc for traffic when a streetcar stops to pick up riders.
Stefan Caunter / February 11, 2013 at 03:36 pm
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This city is badly run. Poor snow removal is a fact here, not an exception. Allowing street parking along streetcar routes is a terrible idea, but the TTC itself doesn't care about picking up passengers, just making route times. Observe driver behaviour; they go out of their way to race their routes to avoid picking up people. If they were paid by number of passengers they took, or just actually cared about people, it might be different, but the culture is awful. Marginalizing a main transport system by allowing cars to park on routes shows how much the city cares about its people too. Toronto's transport infrastructure is a total embarassment.
Martin replying to a comment from Anna G / February 11, 2013 at 03:39 pm
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That photo is on Roncesvalles ave where the driver has parked at the start of the "bump out" that is used passengers to get on the streetcar & cyclists riding along the street. This is a different issue that happens all the time by idiot drivers.
so easy / February 11, 2013 at 03:42 pm
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Why is it so difficult to see that if you park in a streetcar path you should be towed? I don't care if there was snow in the way, clearly you parked there after it fell and did a crap job of it. The lead picture isn't even from this weekend. I've also never understood the argument for buses. I am assuming streetcars are more economical and carry more people if the city still uses them. I don't buy the argument that they are kept for historic reasons, pretty sure there are no tourists coming to Toronto to see the streetcar nor residents who would complain if they left (assuming buses were actually cheaper and worked better).
Ex-Plow King / February 11, 2013 at 03:46 pm
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Even the streets without on-street parking were terribly plowed. How many right lanes and right-turn lanes are fully accessible? I'm disappointed at how many snowbanks are still encroaching on high-traffic arteries; they had all weekend to clean it up!
Martin replying to a comment from Skye / February 11, 2013 at 03:48 pm
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@David & Skye

Well if you have ever been to Montreal and looked at their parking signs you will see why the streets are clear of snow in the winter. There is no parking on the street at specific times of the week to allow for snow removal, sure it's a pain but you deal with it. It's not that hard.
hmmm / February 11, 2013 at 03:49 pm
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For those advocating for the electric bus over the streetcar, don't forget that many bus routes were impacted as buses couldn't make it up Toronto's many hills. There are just as many issues with that alternative.
Jeremy replying to a comment from Martin / February 11, 2013 at 03:50 pm
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I took the photo and was surprised that thie 2-year-old photo was used instead of one I took on Saturday of passengers and a TTC driver taking matters into their own hands and moving a car out of the way - http://www.flickr.com/photos/jer1961/8461769079/in/photostream - about 50 feet south of the photo here. Just have to say that outside of incidents like the one above and a few others before the street was completed, there have been very few incidents of blocked streetcars on Roncesvalles. Until the snow. Have Torontonians forgotten how to deal with Winter?
Rob replying to a comment from Stefan Caunter / February 11, 2013 at 04:02 pm
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Excellent post, especially this:

Marginalizing a main transport system by allowing cars to park on routes shows how much the city cares about its people too.
Arrow replying to a comment from Jeremy / February 11, 2013 at 04:05 pm
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Management should fine that driver. If he were injured, the union would have claimed workers comp and cost the city money.
Ksenia / February 11, 2013 at 04:18 pm
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Honestly I'd support banning parking on streets with streetcars altogether, especially in the downtown core. It'd ease traffic a little bit because it'd be easier for cars to pass the slower-moving streetcars, and it'd maybe teach people to start using transit and leave their cars in the suburbs.
Oh replying to a comment from steve / February 11, 2013 at 04:19 pm
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So tell me - How can Hamilton justify that expense then?

Sure, they are at the end of the lake and get slightly more snow than Toronto if the conditions are right... But you can't tell me Hamilton gets so much more snow than Toronto that they have no choice but to use dumptrucks to haul the snow away.
Oh replying to a comment from steve / February 11, 2013 at 04:22 pm
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The TTC was pure chaos this weekend thanks to the storm and the parked cars. I had my scanner on and was listening to transit control Saturday and Sunday... At least every 5-10 mins there would be a radio call declaring streetcars are stuck due to parked cars.

Is it so darn difficult to use brains during a snowstorm? Or any day of the year for that matter?
Anna G replying to a comment from Martin / February 11, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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That's what I thought when I saw the photo...looks like another rude driver parking wherever they feel like!!
Terry / February 11, 2013 at 04:23 pm
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Declare a transit snow emergency, and then employ a faster, more efficient towing procedure (maybe that 15-minute rule whichsomeone recommended). A streetcar full of 40+ passengers needs to take precedence over a single car parked on King, Queen, or Dundas streets.
iSkyscraper / February 11, 2013 at 04:26 pm
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The key to this issue is not to let Rob Ford-like neanderthals turn this into an argument to get rid of streetcars. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. But whining about subways is so much easier than, say, being an effective mayor and managing the complicated transit asset that you actually have, rather than the fantasy one that exists in your tiny brain.
glenn storey / February 11, 2013 at 04:27 pm
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a topical tune. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVMXQuKuISQ
wheel chair / February 11, 2013 at 04:53 pm
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To hell with transit and cars.

Those of us who are forced to use wheel chairs can not even make it out because of lazy, arrogant, ignorant masses that forget that we are people too.

I have every right to use the sidewalk with everyone else. However in this city I am forced to contend with the likes of those with stuck up noses who bump and crash into me because they are walking. Afterwords blame me for taking up space they wanted to occupy.

By law you are required to as an owner of property remove and clear snow from the sidewalks in front of your house.
But do any of you actually do this? NO!

Screw you all with your complaints of TTC being slow, try living 1 day in my wheel chair. Live one day as I do then try to complain after the fact. You are walking but have any of you ever tried to help me in any way? NEVER! Not one person in 30 years has helped me on queen street. Then you get the city to build sidewalks improper and put up tree's and other idiotic trash that makes my life even worse because I have to navigate around it and the rest of you assholes.

Yes I drive a car because I have no other method of getting myself from A to B. Can't navigate on the sidewalks full of snow and ignorant masses who are moronic at the best of times.

What this city needs to do is ban cyclists. A human powered cyclist struck me and put me in this living hell I am in now because she failed to stop at a RED light. Not a car but a pathetic toy powered contraption operated by a more pathetic ignorant person who sounds like the vast majority of stuck up BlogTO infants.

I would start with banning the majority of ignorant people who can not understand how it is someone such as myself has to endure the hell that is daily life.

Shame on all of you. Grow up and understand there are reasons for things to be the way they are in this world. From where I see it 99% of the problems are from all of you complaining but not doing anything about it. Until you do something follow my advise and SHUT UP or move away. Move to Vancooooover or Sad Francisco or Europeeee or whatever crappy place you always complain is better then here. Why wait move today. Why live with Ford's rule, leave now and today. don't look back we wont' miss you one bit.

Pathetic.










Martin replying to a comment from Jeremy / February 11, 2013 at 04:58 pm
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You would be correct that there hasn't been that many blocked streetcars this way, I ride up the street & idiots block the bump outs way too often, they just luck out by doing it before a streetcar comes along. Then there is the ignorance of passengers who think the bump outs are extensions of the sidewalk so they can just stand there oblivious to cyclists, that's another rant.
glenn storey replying to a comment from wheel chair / February 11, 2013 at 05:02 pm
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holy cow, dude, bitter much? i shoveled my walk 6 times on friday, and once on saturday, and i own a car. not to mention the laws states the walk must be shoveled within 24 hours of the cessation of snowfall, because, you know, some people went to work and didn't get home in time to shovel just for you.
_n / February 11, 2013 at 05:07 pm
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City should have just declared major streetcar routes no parking zones for the weekend. They do it in Boston during snow emergencies (like this past weekend). Don't see why that wouldn't work here.

http://www.cityofboston.gov/snow/storm.asp?selNeighborhood=South+Boston
W. K. Lis / February 11, 2013 at 05:15 pm
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Hamilton declared a snow emergency on Friday and it was lifted on Sunday. To declare a snow emergency would have cost money, something Rob Ford will not do, so no snow emergency.

Meanwhile, Rob took phone call on his home phone regarding problems with snow. Something that 311 should be handling. Is Rob Ford an overpaid call centre operator or the mayor. As a mayor, he should have been looking at the big picture and declared a snow emergency.

Instead, he handled individual problems that should have been handled by the 311 operators. But then Rob wants to cut city hall staff (which could include the 311 operators) by ANOTHER 10%.

Maybe next, he'll outsource the city hall jobs to China, to save money. Forget the jobs in Toronto, but that's seems to be fine.

It took 30 minutes for someone to answer my 311 call on Friday. Seems like a staff shortage to me.
Keith replying to a comment from Alex / February 11, 2013 at 05:18 pm
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Most of the people that park on the side streets have nowhere else to park. If you look at their windshields they usually have permit parking from the city which they pay for.
Matthew Fabb / February 11, 2013 at 05:28 pm
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I've heard of a number of cases, where people have gotten off the streetcar and have pushed a car sideways out of the way and then gotten back onto the streetcar to continue on their way.
Ralph Mochachino replying to a comment from wheel chair / February 11, 2013 at 05:39 pm
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hahaha!
tommy / February 11, 2013 at 05:49 pm
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Street parking has become far too easy to obtain in the core, on and off major streets. These streets and neighbourhoods weren't designed with cars in mind, and we lose so much space and mobility because of them. I seriously wonder why businesses and residents who can't exist without their cars would even begin to think about setting up shop downtown, short of their selfish desire for a 'funky downtown address'.

And those against streetcars: they hold more people, thereby requiring fewer drivers and less labour cost (streetcars move more people per day than GO), they are relatively immune to ice and snow because of their 30 tons of metal, replacing them with electric buses would require a complete redesign of the system (the overhead wires are incompatible, buses don't have rails to act as ground, and therefore require a ground collector overhead, plus buses can't make some of the tighter turns on the streetcar network), streetcars have a smoother ride for passengers, streetcars allow riders to see the environment which stimulates the local street economy (Sonic Boom gets more traffic now that Bathurst streetcar riders go past it), I could go on and on...
jer replying to a comment from W. K. Lis / February 11, 2013 at 05:55 pm
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Why would declaring a snow emergency cost the city extra money vs. the normal snow cleanup?

Can someone find out when the last snow emergency was declared?
Bobo / February 11, 2013 at 05:58 pm
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What I learned from reading these comments:
- Montreal is so awesome
- The city of Toronto is run by idiots
- Streetcars are evil
- Anyone with a car should be able to park anywhere they want
- Electric busses are the solution to everything

Maybe someone should just work on teaching motorists how to respect others they share the roads with. Seems simple enough.
Rebecca / February 11, 2013 at 06:02 pm
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Based on my travels across Europe over the summer, subways (or underground transit) through the core instead of streetcars makes a heck of a lot more sense than streetcars. It allows for both cars and transit riders not to be at each others' throats and for everyone to be moving (well... except in rush hour when cars are essentially "parked" anyways). At this point as well, there are enough people taking transit for it to be viable to move underground.

Now, if people don't want underground transit, then I think cars should be towed if they are not parked properly, regardless of the weather. If there's a lot of snow, that's not an excuse for blocking traffic, TTC or otherwise. Either drive and find a parking spot that works, regardless of how long it takes to find that spot that doesn't impede traffic and that may be further than you want for where you're going, or just take transit so you don't have to deal with it. It should be treated the same way, regardless of the weather... and drivers should have enough common sense not to park where they're blocking traffic.
Adrian replying to a comment from jer / February 11, 2013 at 06:25 pm
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When Lastman called in the military.
jd / February 11, 2013 at 06:26 pm
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I was surprised how silly some drivers were parking. Even on Sunday driving down Spadina I saw more than one car parked half in a spot with their back end blocking part of the lane. Turning Spadina into one lane in parts.

No idea what goes through peoples heads at times...
Kat / February 11, 2013 at 08:41 pm
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At Queen & Woodbine Saturday morning, there were cars parked on Queen which had obviously been there all night, judging from the amount of snow on their roofs.

Right behind the condo buildings between Woodbine and Kingston Road, there are no fewer than FOUR Green P lots which cost about the same as the street parking (it's all metred along there). I know for a fact none of those lots were full.

Talk about buses vs. streetcars all you want, but it doesn't change the fact there are an awful lot of idiot drivers around TO.
Joe / February 11, 2013 at 08:57 pm
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It works, unfortunately the city, the way it was designed, the way it is designed does not make it street car friendly. Poor city planning. The road is full of clutter, bikes, cars, buses, street cars, motorcycles, no bike lanes, poor infrastructure. It does not accommodate 5 million plus people, and those commuting to the city to and from work, doesn't work. They built/rebuilt a streetcar line on St Clair street that was supposed to encourage streetcar/ttc use, instead it caused more traffic(genius). You can't encourage and promote more use if no one backs you ( proper budget, proper ttc service etc etc.) Remember folks the only reason why Toronto expanded to this size was because Montreal( Canada's former largest city) Wanted to stay French, thus driving those people to Toronto, explaining why everything in Toronto is American. I guess they never really envisioned this did they? Just thought, hey, lets make a buck, tear down everything, and let the American businesses in....No further comment.
Josh / February 11, 2013 at 08:59 pm
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If you can afford a car, and pay to park it in the city then you can afford a shovel. It's winter time...Canada...Chill out drivers/parkers
George stroke / February 11, 2013 at 09:26 pm
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Here's an idea. Paint a line on the road that marks where the outer edge of the street car will be. Then drivers will have a good idea if they are breaking the law or not. I reckon a lot of them guesstimate, but end up making bad judgement calls, or have bad eyes.
Amen replying to a comment from wheel chair / February 11, 2013 at 10:50 pm
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Yes we should ban those idiots who ride bikes!
joe / February 11, 2013 at 11:16 pm
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People should just stay home. Why are you leaving the house anyway? Work from home and call Grocery Gateway for food. Done.
Antony replying to a comment from George stroke / February 11, 2013 at 11:56 pm
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Uh George, there's a white dashed line guaranteed to be clear of the outer edge of the street car. It's a lane marker. Toronto drivers might not know what they mean, though.
giancarlo / February 12, 2013 at 12:20 am
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use buses instead of streetcars, problem solved.
the lemur replying to a comment from wheel chair / February 12, 2013 at 09:28 am
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To hell with cars, except your own?
the lemur replying to a comment from Amen / February 12, 2013 at 09:29 am
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Yeah, that'll totally solve this problem and congestion as a whole.
the lemur replying to a comment from giancarlo / February 12, 2013 at 09:30 am
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Do you know how many alerts the TTC had on Friday about buses not being able to get up hills, etc.?
Chris on Bay Street replying to a comment from Stefan Caunter / February 12, 2013 at 10:21 am
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Agree that transit infrastructure is a joke here. At least 30 years behind.

But I disagree that drivers race their routes to avoid picking up riders. Been on the Chinatown streetcar lately? Drivers have no qualms delaying 60+ riders so a couple losers with grocery pullcarts can scurry to catch the streetcar, rather than be forced to wait a few minutes for the next one.
Aaron / February 12, 2013 at 10:30 am
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We need huge fines for blocking any transit vehicle. Make it $5000, that'll get people's attention. And if you think that's too high, the economic damage caused by preventing thousands of people from getting where they need to go is surely a lot higher.
Trev / February 12, 2013 at 11:20 am
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I pay taxes just like everyone else. I bust my ass so i can afford to pay the crazy amounts of tax i have to pay just so I can have a car in this city. I pay for e-tests, I pay for plate renewals, I pay for street parking, I pay for public parking, heck I even pay for a private lot parking. ALL OF THAT MONEY GOES TO THE MUNICIPAL GOVERNMENT. So excuse me if I don't give a flying fuck if you morons can't get to work because they don't use the thousands of dollars i give them every year FOR THE PURPOSE OF YOUR (non car owning) CONVENIENCE properly.
Nick replying to a comment from wheel chair / February 12, 2013 at 11:34 am
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@wheel chair: you should sue the City for failure to provide access to all downtown sidewalks after a reasonable period after a snowfall (as happens in the 'burbs, incidentally). You know, it worked for blind lawyer David Lepofsky, whose lawsuit against the TTC for not properly announcing stops on subways and busses led to the digital signs and announcements that all transit users now benefit from. Apparently it would cost the City just $7 per family per year to clean snow from all downtown sidewalks (according to a Maclean's piece from a 17 March 2011). It's an accessibility issue, and everyone would benefit. You know, the threat of a lawsuit by the plastic bag industry was enough to cause the City to wet its pants and drop its proposed ban, so maybe if you threatened to sue that would be enough. You'd become the hero of strolling-pushing parents as a bonus!
Rob replying to a comment from Trev / February 12, 2013 at 12:06 pm
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WAHHHHHHH. My footprint is larger, I use more resources, and I have to pay taxes for it. WAAAAAAHHHHHHH.
Nick replying to a comment from Trev / February 12, 2013 at 12:49 pm
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@Trev, you're wrong. The taxes you pay for the privilege of driving cover just one-third to one-half of the cost of providing the infrastructure for you to do so. Google "John Moore National Post The conservative case for toll roads" (Feb 5, 2013). TTC users in Toronto pay 80% of their own cost.
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Kris / February 12, 2013 at 01:21 pm
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As with Downtown Guy, again, no. That's just getting rid of street rail so that you and every entitled driver can do what they please with their cars. You need to learn that the car (and the bus) isn't EVERYTHING in Toronto or any other city.
Aaron / February 12, 2013 at 01:34 pm
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So, half-assed Toronto does a half-assed job of snow clearance? Never could have predicted that!
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from Adrian / February 12, 2013 at 01:40 pm
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Rebecca:

-Which cities in Europe did you travel to that have what you said they did

-How feasible do you think that it would be to have subways everywhere?
Simon Tarses replying to a comment from giancarlo / February 12, 2013 at 01:42 pm
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Get the frack out of Toronto and stay out. Problem solved.
Aaron replying to a comment from the lemur / February 12, 2013 at 02:00 pm
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It would help if the TTC used snow tires in the winter but that would be too outrageous of an idea.
KickA905erInTheTeeth / February 12, 2013 at 05:30 pm
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Just TOW the damn car....they won't be from Toronto anyway. Or if they are, they're probably some arrogant Rosedalean fat-cat.

It takes 5 mins. to lower the tow arm and tow them away --BAM!

Plus, the hefty fine goes right into our coffers --Cha-CHING!

Really, we ought to hike the fines for track blockers to stratospheric levels, then watch these idiots' blood pressure spike to aneurysm levels! -KA-SQUIRT!!!

RoncyGirl / February 13, 2013 at 11:26 am
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Can someone give me a good argument as to why we have streetcars in the first place? I'm all for reducing pollution but... They're slow, and expensive to maintain. When they breakdown, they block all traffic, making it take forever to get it towed.

How about dedicating certain streets for rail systems (meaning no parking as well) and other streets only motorized vehicles... then the two shall never meet?

*Sigh* there's no simple solution that will make everyone happy. Toronto is every commuter/traveler's nightmare.
Lori Bosworth / February 15, 2013 at 02:06 pm
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I think there should be special measures implemented by the City that you cannot park on a major street i.e. where streetcars travel after a snowstorm until the City declares it safe to do so. Regarding one reader's suggestion not to park cars on side streets at night, unfortunately, street permit parking is the only option for many of us living downtown.
Chwith on Bay Sthweet replying to a comment from Chris on Bay Street / February 16, 2013 at 03:34 pm
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No, I've never been on the *Chinatown streetcar* lately. Because there ISN'T such a thing, dumbass.

And nice call shitting on the "losers" who use grocery pullcarts and have to use TTC. God forbid you'd ever actually BUY ANYTHING when visiting Kensington or Chinatown.

Loser.
Aaron / February 18, 2013 at 12:08 am
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After 179 years of unbridled half-assedness, Toronto is entering uncharted territory and trying to figure out how to deal with the latest new phenomena; winter and snow.

Godspeed! Toronto
Adam / February 20, 2013 at 11:32 am
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Wow I think reading these comments gave me brain damage amage amage amage.

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