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City cracking down on habitual downtown parking offenders

Habitual downtown parking offenders are now being towed
Full parking spots on Carden Street next to city hall on Friday afternoon.

The City of Guelph is cracking down on habitual parking offenders in the downtown core.

As of Jan. 1 any license plate with 10 or more parking tickets, paid or unpaid, have been identified as habitual downtown parking offenders. Warning letters have been issued to these offenders making them aware if they are in violation of a parking bylaw downtown they will be ticketed and towed.

“Our goal is to get those who plan to stay downtown longer than two hours to park in a parkade,” said Stacey Laughlin, downtown revitalization officer with the city.

“Towing vehicles is one of the last actions our bylaw officers will take against illegally parked vehicles.”

In collaboration with the Downtown Guelph Business Association, they launched an initiative for people who want to park downtown for more than two hours to stop circling to find a spot and park in a parkade.

There are 64 spaces available in the Macdonell Street parking lot and can be used the same as on-street parking, two hours per day at no charge.

“When habitual parking offenders park for longer than two hours in an on-street parking spot, they’re taking parking spaces away from clients of downtown businesses, which impacts the livelihoods of the impacted business owners,” said Laughlin.

The city has added more parking spaces downtown with 34 angled parking spaces on Wyndham Street North as of May.

The closure of the Baker Street parking lot has made on-street parking spots downtown more in demand than normal, said Marty Williams, executive director of the Downtown Guelph Business Association.

"Parking is an issue for everybody, business and property owners included," said Williams.

"The on-street spots are designated for short-term use, two hours max once a day. If there is no enforcement of that rule, people will park all day and folks looking to shop, dine out, or visit a patio will have no place to park. People who need long-term parking can get a parking pass," he said.

Reiterating on-street parking is available for short-term parking will allow spaces to be freed up and for more customers to access downtown businesses, said Laughlin.

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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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