Feb 13, 2013

By Jane Brown

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After last Friday’s big snowstorm, the chair of Toronto’s Public Works Committee  has a message for the 100 drivers who delayed streetcars by parking in their paths.  “Don’t be a jackass,” says Denzil Minnan-Wong. “You’re being very selfish.  Just consider all the people you’re inconveniencing.”  The Ward 34 Don Valley East City Councillor has announced a review of the city’s snow-emergency bylaw to find ways to more effectively deal with motorists who block streetcars.  “A foot of snowfall.  Most of the residents of the city of Toronto dealt with it.  We had a problem on TTC routes and we need to deal with that.”

Minnan-Wong says in retrospect, the city could have declared a snow emergency when about 30 centimetres of snow fell over 24 hours.  The bylaw makes it illegal to park or stop on a snow route.  Vehicles will be ticketed and towed away. Large piles of snow on some Toronto roads meant motorists who parked there were so far from the curb that streetcars could not get by.  He says a review will examine how the city can prevent this from happening, how to stop the 311 phone system from being overloaded, and whether snow “emergency” is the proper way to describe the response to big storms.  Minnan-Wong hopes to see a report in a couple of months.

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