Archive for the ‘Bylaw’ Category

City Hall Parking Blitz

- November 19th, 2012

On Friday I noted the parking crackdown around City Hall.

This morning, emergency and protective services general manager Susan Jones revealed how many tickets her staff wrote that day…

Hogging The E-Car Spot

- November 16th, 2012

You might have been following the Twitter conversation this week about the parking situation on the Lisgar St. side of City Hall.

The city recently installed a new charging station for electric cars. One of the courier parking spaces is completely dedicated for e-cars.

Security and bylaw officers have been watching the e-car spot closely after reports of non-electric cars hogging the spot. As I write this, there’s another non-electric car in the charging spot.

If this keeps up, the city will be able to pay for the $25,000 installation cost in no time!

Some of the Twitter talk…

Sun columnist Susan Sherring was chatting with protective services GM Susan Jones about the parking problems and Jones shared a funny little anecdote.

Jones writes: “We got one person the other day who parked on the entrance ramp at Elgin to City Hall to run in and pay a ticket. He received a ticket.  When he came out he saw the ticket and drove around to the Lisgar side and pulled into the electric car spot to go in and contest that ticket. He got another ticket. Expensive lesson for him.”

Bylaw officers aren’t messing around. This afternoon I was driving up the ramp from the underground parking garage on Elgin St. and saw a marked OPP vehicle parked there with a ticket on the windshield.

Downtown Pub’s “Lifeline” Is Smokers

- January 31st, 2012

I caught up to Alex Munro today to ask him about the city’s proposal to ban smoking on restaurant patios. I was particularly interested in his thoughts since he’s the VP of the Heart and Crown Irish Pubs group, which owns James Street Pub, at the corner of Bank St. in Centretown.

I have been a customer of the pub and noticed the patio is incredibly popular with smokers. For whatever reason, it seems there’s more smoking happening on that patio than any other in the neighbourhood. Munro agreed the patio is a magnet for smokers and he suggested there’s a high demographic of blue-collar workers who come to the pub.

Smokers, Munro said, are the “lifeline” of that particular pub. He suggested the city’s no-smoking proposal for patios could sink the establishment completely.

Of course, we don’t really know what’s going to happen until the bylaw comes into force and the summer hits. But I can see how Munro would be concerned about patrons smoking on the sidewalk and leaning over the railing for a sip of their drinks. Liquor inspectors would certainly swoop in.

As an aside, talking to Munro also gave me the opportunity to ask him about rumours that the pub was being turned into condos. The rumours, as it turns out, were true, but Munro said those plans have been shelved. The idea was to keep the pub on the ground floor of a condo building.

Another Tough City Job: Parking Officers

- November 19th, 2011

Bus drivers take a lot of heat out there, but they aren’t the only city employees on the frontilne of residents’ ire.

As I found out recently, parking enforcement officers get their fair share of hate mail. Some of it might be justified (eg. an officer who appears to be flirting with a motorist), but others just express anger about simply getting a ticket.

Between the time I filed the stories and when they ran in Friday’s paper, I bumped into a couple parking officers biking around downtown. They told tales of being confronted by angry motorists, spat on and threatened with physical violence.

Not an easy job.

Read the stories here:

Parking enforcement raises ire of Ottawans

Handing out parking tickets a stressful gig

Also, a sidebar story on compliments was in the newspaper but not online, so I thought it’s only fair to publish it here:

A sample of written compliments from the public about bylaw officers:

Dec. 2008: Bylaw officer thanked after finding a cold two-year-old girl crying in the Baycrest Dr. area. No adults were in sight.

Jan 2009: Officer displayed “above-the-call-of-duty” service by helping motorist find a parking spot in Vanier.

Jan. 2009: A thank-you to parking officer for not ticketing during the bus strike when someone was late for a job interview. “Goes against most people’s opinions that all bylaw officers are not reasonable.”

March 2009: Officer helped catch crooks using bogus tickets in parking facilities.

June 2009: A thank-you to officer for being courteous and professional.

Sept. 2009: Officers doing a good job taking care of illegally parked cars in Blackburn Hamlet.

Dec. 2009: Kudos from deputy city manager’s office to a bylaw staffer who is always available late Friday afternoons.

Feb. 2010: Parking control officer “makes it worth living in Ottawa to be 87 and be able to depend on the city.”

July 2010: Compliment from the Privy Council Office about bylaw responding to parking issues, especially with security concerns involving parked vehicles outside the Langevin Building, where the Prime Minister’s Office is.

Dec. 2010: Bylaw staff volunteered to watch a couple’s child outside court while they were inside fighting a charge.

No Noise On Nuisance Bylaw

- September 14th, 2011

If anyone has his finger on the pulse of Ottawa’s entertainment district, it’s Steve Monuk. He’s the owner of York Entertainment, which runs 16 establishments in the ByWard Market.

While talking about booze issues in the market, he wondered what happened to that so-called nuisance bylaw proposed by former councillor Georges Bedard early last year.

The idea was to outlaw bad behaviour, like loud swearing and “disorderly conduct,” on the street and sidewalks. The proposed bylaw was aimed directly at the rowdiness after the bars close in the market.

Turns out Monuk liked the idea but he doesn’t know where it ended up.

So whatever happened to that nuisance bylaw anyway?

Well, after the transportation committee approved it in February 2010, council bounced it back to the committee for further review because some councillors questioned if it would apply to things like children playing.

And that’s where we’re at. I imagine the municipal election last October slowed the process, plus the author of the proposal lost the election in Rideau-Vanier ward.

The proposal generated some controversy, The Ottawa Panhandlers Union even threatened to sue if the bylaw was approved. Have to wonder if it will ever appear again on a transportation committee agenda.