Intelligent parking campaign still underway in Laval

Intelligent parking campaign still underway in Laval

By Tracey Arial,
with files from Robert Frank

About a third of the more than 30 people who attended Pierre Anthian’s intelligent parking public consultation last week got up to praise the idea.

“Parking was bad enough in my previous neighbourhood,” said Daniel something from Ste. Rose. “For two years, I’ve lived in a neighbourhood of duplexes and it’s become nightmarish.”

“I congratulate you on this initiative,” said another person, whose name was hard to hear. “In my neighbourhood, it’s so packed with cars. There are no signs anywhere. It’s abhorrent.”

“I’m in favour of your project, but it means a lot of education,” said someone else. “And a web application too.”

“I just want to be able to find a parking spot,” said someone from Ste. Rose. “Snow clearing is not done well in Laval.”

Despite their comments, the City of Laval does not plan to adopt the practice anytime soon.

“Mr. Anthian had already submitted his project a few months ago, and the experts’ opinion convinced us to turn it down,” said François Brochu, the public relations director from Mayor Marc Demers’ office. “The resolution he submitted raises no new elements. His proposal cannot be implemented, as it would be greatly detrimental to the maintenance and cleaning of our streets as well as to snow removal. That opinion is based on the expertise and experience of municipal public works experts. Elected councilors would certainly take that into account should they have to vote on the issue [again].”

David de Cotis, the vice-chairman of Laval’s executive committee told The Suburban reporter Robert Frank something similar.

“We’ve mandated the administration to look at the whole parking issue of the City of Laval not only alternative parking, but as a whole, to devise one strategy that fits all,” he said. “We are aware there is more efficiency we can gain, but we are looking at the whole way parking is being used today to go to intelligent alternative parking. It has been done in LaSalle and it has been done in Verdun and they are the two cities in Montreal with the worst snow removal services because of that. It is not Mr. Anthian who is going to tell the city what to do or how to do it. It is going to be the administration that is going to come to a recommendation as to what’s legal, what’s not legal, what can be done and the costs associated with that—and all that with one vision.”

Both de Cotis and Brochu also said that the legal opinion obtained by Mr. Anthian has no credibility because it’s based largely on a bylaw which no longer applies because it was repealed in 2008.

While it is true that the ten-page legal opinion by lawyer Rusmir Rasic from Laurendeau Hebert briefly mentions local bylaw L10241, which no longer exists, it’s not a significant part of the letter.

The old regulation is mentioned as the reason that Laval lost a lawsuit in 2006 because citizens claimed that the bylaw was too difficult to follow. Rasic also cited cases in other cities in which municipal regulations were struck down due to their confusing nature.

In the last part of his letter, Rasic recommends ways to make sure that a new intelligent parking system regulation avoids such legal challenges.

The rest of Rasic’s opinion references sections in the Quebec Highway Safety Act (Code de la securité routiers).
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LaSalle intelligent parking promotional poster.
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