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The city releases secret to cancelling parking tickets: pretty much any excuse works

Even the Batmobile gets ticketed in Toronto (Image: Gary J. Wood)

After what sounds like years of conspiracies and cover-ups, drivers finally have a shot against the sneaky tactics of parking officials. Thanks to two plucky city councillors, a formerly confidential document that offers guidelines on when to cancel parking tickets was made public last night. In the Star, Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong explains the adventure: “Myself and Councillor [Howard] Moscoe have been trying to get it released for a long time, and staff have constantly been saying ‘It’s confidential, it’s confidential, it’s confidential…’ Here a group of bureaucrats have set up these secret rules that nobody knows about.” Until now.

Turns out, the city is a lot more reasonable than one would assume—or at least it is supposed to be. According to the document, parking officials are encouraged to use “sound judgment” and “problem-solving skills,” and even to give motorists the benefit of the doubt.

These shocking details seem to imply that whenever parkers think they deserve to have their ticket cancelled, they probably do, so long as they can prove it and they don’t have a history of parking violations. Attendants are encouraged to extend grace to fast food delivery people, church worshippers, out-of-towners, sick people and those who are confused by “No Parking” signs (specifically if permissible parking switches from one side of the street to another). Also, thankfully, if one’s car is stolen and then parked illegally, the newly car-less victim usually does not have to pay.

It’s nice to know that under its gruff exterior, Toronto is really just a big softie. Except when it comes to cyclists. Cyclists are pissed. But what else is new?

• Ticket Cancelling manuel released [Toronto Star]
•  Parking Exemptions vs Bike Lanes [ibikeTO]
• How to beat parking tickets in Toronto [Globe and Mail]