Thursday, 04 June 2015 10:50

Taxi bylaws and parking issues: City pushing unfair bylaws

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We are writing this letter to warn all taxi drivers, cab owners and all business owners who park their business and commercial vehicles on the street in front of their house or in their driveways.
A taxi bylaw was passed by the current mayor and councillors, but none of the taxi companies are in favour of it. It was poorly written and Rick’s Family Taxi has spent a lot of time working with the City to change some of the bylaw inequities.
The bylaw requires all taxis to be parked at a “bona fide business” off street and we are not allowed to park our taxis — our portable offices — in front of our homes where we live, where it’s most convenient, and most profitable for making a living.
The City has already fined us for parking our taxis in front of our house and warns us they are going to fine us again for parking even in our own driveway. The City bylaw enforcement officer told us she’s received complaints from our neighbours.
However, when we talked to four of our neighbours no one agreed that it was a good bylaw and they all found it was ridiculous not to be able to park one’s business vehicle in front of our house or in our driveway.
We (Len and Holly Waker) own and operate Rick’s Family Taxi. We were forced by the bylaw to rent a “bona fide” commercial office with radio for dispatching. It’s located on 7th Ave. N.W. in between Cheadle and Chaplin.
We live on Taylor Drive just east of 13th Ave. N.E. It’s not economically-feasible for us to park at the “bona fide” office, which cuts into our profit by causing us to drive 10 minutes out of our way instead of responding immediately when a customer calls and needs a taxi right away.
The City expects us to park at the office and drive our own vehicle back and forth when we go home for a break, a meal, sleep, or family time.
We drive and manage our company 24-7 while raising a family of four and another business or three. We need all the breaks we can get, but instead of caring about our quality of living and our family, the City only cares about the revenue it makes from this rotten bylaw.
We believe that if this unnecessary Taxi Bylaw is not revoked or this parking restriction changed, removed, or rescinded, all of the business owners or employees with commercial or private work vehicles presently being parked where it makes sense — in their driveways or in front of their homes — will all have to park off-street or be ticketed like we have been.
This is just an example of the beginning of the City making our lives unnecessarily complicated. The City is not concerned about our quality of living.
They are only concerned about collecting revenue to pay for their over-spending on the budget every year.
As well, when we asked Mayor Schafer to discuss this issue, he replied with, “I will leave it to the courts to decide.”
This is an avoidable cost, paid by the taxpayers in this community. This expense could be avoided by properly abolishing the unfair bylaw, instead of pawning it off to the courts.
We all have busy lives, which the City seems intent to complicate our taxi business by ticketing $100 for parking in front of our home. Yet, our neighbours or other business vehicles have not been ticketed for parking their work vehicles in front of their homes.
It comes down to the City saying our neighbours complained when the neighbours we talked to all say they didn’t. God’s Word tells us to love our neighbour, not to make our neighbour’s lives miserable in order to profit.
In the near future, we will be posting an online petition to revoke the Taxi Bylaw pertaining to off-street parking in a commercially-zoned area near one’s office instead of parking where life makes sense — at one’s home. We will have a hard copy petition at our office located at 138 7th Ave. NW, Tue-Fri, 5 a.m. to 4 p.m., starting June 1. More details to come.
Len and Holly Waker, owners, Rick's Family Taxi

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