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He has consulted with a civil litigation colleague and believes there may be grounds for a class-action lawsuit against the city for deliberately failing to warn drivers about the traps, and then profiting from them.
He opened a website — www.tickettrapangels.com — to encourage people to warn off drivers they see parking in front of a ticket trap and enlisted the help of two paralegal students in patrolling the traps on University.
Holland thinks the city is flirting with fraud by refusing to do anything to make it easier for drivers to steer clear of the hydrants, one of which netted the city $ 289,620 in ticket revenue, from 2008 to 2013.
“What we have here is not only a breach of ethics, but a breach of the city’s fiduciary relationship with its citizens and visitors, who should have no reason to fear a parking trap administered by the city and its staff.”
But the curbs were painted red in only eight locations, while the city did nothing to educate drivers about them. It seemed to us, and Holland, that there wasn’t any serious interest in fixing the problem.
Over the past week, he has waved off upwards of 30 drivers who had parked in front of the hydrants when he approached them and taken down contact information for many of them, which he provided to us.
“It gives me a lot of pleasure to deny the city revenue that it should never get in the first place,” said Holland, noting the paralegal students began working with him this week and have also warned away many motorists.
Last week, someone taped hand-lettered, cardboard signs to a utility pole to alert drivers to the hydrant north of Queen, which seems to have had more effect on parking enforcement officers than drivers.
On Monday, we stood with Holland and watched as a parking cop in a car stopped near a vehicle parked in front of the hydrant north of Queen, but then inexplicably moved on, instead of issuing a ticket.
It occurred to us that perhaps he spotted Holland, knew what he’s up to and decided to look for lower-hanging fruit, rather than provoke him further.
Considering that the same officer continued on to the other hydrant south of Dundas and tagged the vehicle in front of the hydrant with a $ 100 ticket, his reluctance to ticket the other car is all the more curious.
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