SAM ODROWSKI The Standard
UXBRIDGE: As the school year starts, it is important for parents to know where they can and can’t drop their kids off for school.
The Township of Uxbridge is taking a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to illegal parking and stopping. The Township of Uxbridge By-Law Services will be patrolling school zones, to make sure the illegal stopping and parking by-laws are being enforced.
“We found that it is best to start enforcement right at the beginning of the school year, so we can get the parents use to where they can park legally and where they can’t. It sets the tone for the rest of the year, for everybody working together, to keep the congestion issue from growing,” said Andre Gratton, Manager of By-Law Services.
What typically happens, during congestion periods, at Uxbridge Secondary School is, vehicles park along both sides of Planks Lane, which creates bottleneck traffic and becomes a hazard for the buses, who are trying to turn out of their pickup zones.
Andre told the Standard, sometimes the buses can’t even make the turn to leave the school, because congestion and illegal parking is so bad.
“We’ve worked over the years to try and change the bus routes and habits, to help with congestion as well. But what it comes down to is enforcement and being there on a daily basis to discourage illegal parking,” Andre said.
He added, the Township of Uxbridge is doing just that, by hiring a by-law officer specific to enforcing by-laws at all the schools throughout Uxbridge.
“She is scheduled based upon [busy] times at the schools. Not just specifically on planks lane but all schools within the township,” Andre said.
Along with an increased illegal parking enforcement presence at the schools, there has also been an increase in the penalty for parking violations over the past two years.
Parking tickets were $30 if payed within seven days, or $45 if payed after eight days forward, back in 2015. Now, parking tickets cost $50 if payed within seven days, or $75 if the ticket is paid from the eighth day forward.
When an officer is writing a ticket, Andre stresses to never leave the area until it is issued.
“If you drive away from an officer that is writing you a ticket, and that ticket was ready to be issued to your vehicle, which we do find sometimes parents do, then you can actually be summonsed to court and the fines are a maximum of $5000,” Andre said.
To avoid any of these issues, follow the traffic signs, and obey the traffic laws.
“Utilizing good common sense, always trying to look before you park, look for signs where you are parked,” Andre said. “Any type of traffic signs, whether it’s the speed limit, community safety, or parking signs, are always generally on a 45-degree angle, or facing you as you pull up on the roadway to find a spot.”
He added, parents should educate themselves on the proper areas to pick up or drop-off their kids.
“Educate yourselves about where your parking. Make sure you double check where your parking and ensuring you are not parking in an area that is creating a congestion issue.”
He encourages parents to use the parking lot, at Uxbridge Secondary School, and the pickup/drop-off areas the schools have set up.
As well, he encourages kids to walk to school if they are within walking distance.
“I’m a big proponent in trying to encourage kids to walk to school,” Andre said. “The less cars we have on planks lane the better.”
Anyone who is looking for further information about the bylaws around school parking can find additional information here: http://town.uxbridge.on.ca/bylaws, or call the manager of by-law services, at 905-852-9181 Ext. 223.
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