Queen Tow Pilot

Toronto is now towing so many cars on Queen Street there's a hashtag for it

It's been less than two days since the City of Toronto officially launched its new "Queen Street Towing Pilot," and inconsiderate drivers are feeling the change where it counts — in their wallets.

The six to eight-week-long traffic program, unveiled by Mayor John Tory late last week, takes aim at cars illegally parked along the entire length of Queen Street during the afternoon rush hour.

Dozens of tow trucks have been patrolling the busy east-west thoroughfare since Monday afternoon, making it a near guarantee that drivers who stop along the busy street between 3 and 7 p.m. on weekdays will land $150 fines.

Offending motorists will also see their cars towed to designated side streets, as opposed to far away police impound lots — a decision made to let police and tow truck drivers clear cars off the street faster, and in higher numbers than ever before.

Parking enforcement officers can barely keep up with the demand for tows so far this week.

Toronto Police have been using the hashtag #QueenTowPilot to spread awareness of the initiative while tweeting out photo and video footage of cars being towed from Queen Street.

It's a gratifying scroll for people who regularly bike, drive or take the streetcar along Queen (or rather, who try to, but get stopped in deadlock traffic thanks to cars stopped at the curb).

"Traffic congestion caused by illegally stopped vehicles can be dangerous and frustrating for everyone," reads a City of Toronto web page dedicated to the pilot.

"Relocating/towing illegally stopped vehicles keeps traffic moving, including transit vehicles, maintains emergency vehicle access and helps make roads safer for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians safe."

Police say that while drivers of relocated/towed vehicles on Queen Street will be issued a parking violation notice, the towing/relocating fee will be waived for the duration of the pilot.

City officials will analyze data collected during the course of the pilot before potentially rolling it out permanently on Queen Street and other major traffic routes.

Lead photo by

TPS Traffic Services


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