There is an old joke that asks, “why is it that we drive on parkways but park on driveways?’
It’s a good question.
And here is an other one. Why are we not allowed to park overnight on residential streets or in municipal parking lots in Waterloo?
According to the mayor and others at city hall, the key thing is to maintain the clean look of the streets. We want our streets to look nice at night. The mayor adds that ‘keeping streets clear of parked cars also gives fire trucks more space for emergencies.’
But others say that this is a cash grab by the city and that the ban discriminates against the poor. There is evidence of both. The city of Waterloo is the only one of our big three that bans overnight parking year round and imposes the highest fines. Further, neighbourhoods with a high number of townhouses and those near the universities are among the top ticketing hotspots. This parking ban, like our rental licensing bylaw might be a thinly veiled ordinance aimed at students.
A lot of the argument against the parking ban argue that sometimes guests will drink too much and need to leave their car and that’s reasonable. But until 1:30 a.m., residents can register with city hall to park overnight, using up to 15 annual exemptions per licence plate. Waterloo currently exempts 204 vehicles per average night, about four times as many as it tickets
Personally, I have a driveway, so I am going to side with the rich white guys on this issue. I hate it when I see cars parked on front lawns, between curbs and sidewalks and when I see residential streets clogged up with cars. But the cities make a lot of cash from ticketing cars in parking lots. Parking lots are built for parked cars. Why the overnight ban extends to parking lots is beyond reason.
There is nothing lonelier than a parking lot when the last car pulls away.
There is a interactive map here. Source