If you get along with your neighbours, chances are you haven’t run afoul of the city of Hamilton’s 12-hour parking rule, that says a car cannot be parked on a city street for more than 12 hours. The subject came up at Planning Committee Monday, when a citizen complained that the property his home occupies is too small to qualify for a front-yard parking space leaving him no choice but to park on the street. His situation was complicated during the pandemic, when working remotely, he often didn’t need to move the cars for days on end.
Hamilton residents do have the ability to purchase an annual pass that allows them to exceed posted time limits for on-street parking and also allows them to park in municipal parking lots. But it does not exempt them from the 12-hour limit as Brian Hollingsworth, Director of Transportation Planning and Parking told Councillor Maria Pearson.
The practice has been to only issue tickets on a complaint basis, which means the complaints are usually the result of a neighbors’ dispute unrelated to parking. Former Hamilton Councillor Brian McHattie unsuccessfully tried to get the 12-hoiur rule removed, saying the rule discouraged car owners from switching to public transit, but staff argued that the 12-hour rule is essential to allow for maintenance, street cleaning and snow plowing. Staff have been asked to prepare a report on the 12-hour rule, which has been in place since 1959, but judging from comments around the table at Planning Committee, particularly from suburban councillors, there seemed little appetite to change the rule.