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Dropping kids off at school could get really expensive

Dropping kids off at school could get really expensive

Responding to complaints, the city is looking to implement  a pilot project that could see fines of $250 for illegally parking or stopping while dropping kids off at school. The staff report doesn’t say who has been complaining, but a hint is a reference in the staff report to illegal parking on residential streets near schools, In other words streets where school-aged children can walk to school without needing a ride.

The staff report says the current fine system where offenders pay between $35 and $80 is not acting as a sufficient deterrent. Staff are suggesting a $250 file similar to what has been levied on parking offenders at the city’s waterfalls.  They say in the report, “this (illegal parking)  phenomenon was similar around Waterfall Sites (such as Greensville) where visitors were willing to risk parking in violation. Implementation of SEA’s with a $250 penalty has shown a decrease in illegal parking behaviour with increased general deterrence associated with higher penalties. There was a 60% decrease in issued penalties in the Greensville Waterfall Area from 2020 to 2021.  Implementation of SEAs with a $250 penalty around school sites is expected to have a similar effect in reducing illegal and unsafe parking behaviours that jeopardizes the safety of children during bell times. Enforcement will be an issue as well. The report notes that there are over 150 plus schools within the City of Hamilton, and approximately 190-200 school days.  

Staff would also engage Communications Staff to ensure a public messaging is done prior to implementation, which can be shared with the School Boards, the selected school site Principals, and other stakeholders for public awareness. This would be coupled with signage. The pilot would initially be tested out at Earl Kitchener Elementary School and St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School.

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