Drivers are being ticketed for ‘pre-emptively’ parking on a Toronto street

Parking spots painted on a residential street in Toronto are proving to be a ticket trap for confused motorists.

Residents who live on Heron Street, a north-south thoroughfare in the north end of the Canadian city, have spotted as many as 25 separate spots painted in the streets. Some patches are pegged as far north as seven houses away from the homes. It’s the kind of spot that makes parents very nervous about letting their kids play on the street.

“I told my neighbor and she said, ‘Look, I’m driving with my 4-year-old and he sees something that isn’t there,’” a mother who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Washington Post. “My neighbour opened her window and said, ‘Don’t you know the signs say kids only?’”

Another woman told CBC Radio that children had been playing in the area for years without any problems, she added. She guessed that a commercial property had parked its customer’s trucks there and painted the spots on the street.

#At least you can park on the sidewalk. First they change the signs to read that! How stupid is that?! Despite it only being a few houses away from a crosswalk — Bae (@itsbaecela) August 30, 2018

In August, a mother and her five-year-old son took a photo of the markings to social media to highlight the problem. The Ottawa Citizen published the photos under the headline “Can someone please take these zoning signs down on Heron Street so my children and I can use it?”

The problem seems to have been solved. On Thursday, a year-long assignment for the CBC’s “The House” found that all the spots had been painted over by later that afternoon. But if you were looking for a lot of blame to go around, it seems this is a bit of a city-wide issue. In the same week, city crews also painted over an area of grass along its own side of the street. In another instance, a child managed to slide across the grass and trot across a stretch of unenclosed grass.

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