Should Toronto raise the fine for blocking intersections?
Amber gamblers that block downtown intersections trying to make a left turn are a big problem for the TTC's surface routes, according Alan Heisey, one of the Commission's citizen board members. He says the existing fine of $40 should be raised to provide a better deterrent during busy rush-hour periods.
In a recommendation adopted at the last TTC board meeting, Heisey said the current fine is "trivial" compared to those in other cities and "has very little deterrence impact." Agency staff are now weighing whether to ask the city to implement a higher fee.
As the Heisey notes, Toronto relies heavily on surface transit through the core, making the problem worse when it occurs.
According to research, Boston tickets drivers $150.00 and other authorities charge double or triple Toronto's rate. The province of B.C., however, charges the same as Toronto. There are no laws outside of the city for this offense, however.
"One auto blocking an intersection can delay a full bus of passengers, affecting their trip plus that bus's schedule and, therefore, the entire route, impacting potentially hundreds of people," says the TTC's Brad Ross. "Anything that can be done to keep the flow of traffic moving benefits us all."
Ross says the problem is most noticeable downtown but isn't exclusively a problem associated with getting through the core.
Should Toronto get strict with drivers who cause transit delays or focus on other ways of making transit move better? Are permanent parking bans and dedicated rights-of-way a better option?
Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.
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