January 5, 2015 6:28 am
Updated: January 5, 2015 7:16 pm

Toronto’s zero tolerance rush hour gridlock crackdown now in effect


WATCH ABOVE: Alan Carter reports on what couriers have to say about the city’s crackdown on illegal parking. 

TORONTO – Twenty-nine vehicles were towed, 70 tagged and 12 provincial tickets were handed out Monday morning as Toronto began its crack down on lane blockers and illegal parkers.

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Mayor John Tory’s zero tolerance policy is officially underway as part of his six-point plan to tackle the city’s congestion problem.

“Break the law and there will be consequences for that,” Tory told reporters in downtown Toronto Monday morning. “All morning, Toronto police have been ticketing vehicles blocking roadways. As of 9 a.m, 18 vehicles have been towed.”

READ MORE: Gridlock crackdown forces Canada Post to change delivery operations

Police have been tasked to pay special attention to high occupancy lanes, rush hour route parking, construction vehicles blocking routes and double parked cars.

VIDEO: Tory says concerns of one business cannot override thousands of commuters

Authorities focused their efforts Monday to an area bounded by King Street in the south, Dupont Street in the north and Parliament Street in the east to Dufferin Street in the west.

Tory reminded businesses that commercial delivery hours may need to be changed in order to conform to the current enforcement strategy.

And the zero tolerance policy has now forced Canada Post to complete certain parcel pick-ups and deliveries during off-peak hours.

“I want to commend them. They have taken the initiative to change the clearing time for downtown so their vehicles don’t have to be on streets during rush hour,” Tory said.

VIDEO: Mayor Tory certain crackdown on illegal parking won’t hurt businesses

Meanwhile, the crackdown warnings have been posted on digital signs on the Don Valley Parkway and the Gardiner Expressway for all downtown-bound drivers for the past few weeks.

Police say drivers caught blocking traffic will be fined up to $150.

READ MORE: What to do if you suspect your car has been towed

“Depending on how long the vehicle stays in the pound, the tow is upwards of $300,” said Traffic Services Cst. Clint Stibbe.

“So by the time you’re done, you’re looking at just shy of $500 for the whole event, including the cab ride to the pound.”

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