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Vehicles with veteran’s license plates park free downtown; no parking permit required

Burlington's downtown parking challengesCurrently, veterans park free in downtown Burlington with the display of a parking permit tag in their windshield, renewed annually with the city at no cost.

Veterans can also park free with a valid veteran’s license plate, but only on select days: five days per year tied to memorial services for specific battles.

My office received a request to extend free parking to veterans with a veteran’s license plate to year round and to eliminate the need for someone with a veteran’s license plate to apply for an annual parking permit for their window. This would save some administrative work by the veteran and by city parking staff. The criteria to qualify for a city veteran’s parking tag and for a veteran’s license plate are almost identical.

On July 15, 2015 City Council endorsed a staff direction asking the City’s Director of Transportation Services to prepare and submit to Council a draft amendment to Parking & Idling By-law 40-2014 to allow veterans with the veteran vehicle license plates to park free at all municipal lots. The amended by-law is expected to come to committee for consideration in early 2016.

In the meantime, Council also supported allowing veterans with veteran’s license plates to park for free in downtown lots starting immediately; before the by-law amendment is considered and passed.

Veterans who do not have a veteran’s license plate would still need to apply for a rear window parking tag in order to park free downtown.

Both the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 60 and the City’s Downtown Parking Committee supported the change.

I was inspired to seek public office because I believe, like so many of you, “I can do something about that” on the issues we face. As councilor, my role is to take a stand on what’s best for residents and go to bat for it. Pushback is inevitable from those who don’t have the community’s interests at heart. I will stand with you and for you, to achieve the best interests of our city, without caving to unacceptable compromise in the name of consensus.

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