New License Plate Recognition Plan To Be Put Before Council
Prince George, B.C. – Details of the new licence plate recognition (LPR) program will be presented to Prince George City Council Monday night, and the plan comes with recommended changes to parking rates and fines.
In the report to Council prepared by Manager of Bylaw Services, Fred Crittenden, it is noted the contract for the LPR has been awarded to VenTek International at a cost of $172,500. That’s about 23% below the budget set aside for the project.
(images at right courtesy City of Prince George)
The report recommends that hourly parking rates in off street lots be boosted to 75 cents an hour and that parking pay terminals be installed at the Four Seasons Pool, the Civic Centre and the Prince George Public Library. Users of those facilities will still be allowed some free parking but a fee will be charged after 3 hours and for those not using the facilities.
The 6th Avenue lot will become a monthly parking facility only instead of hourly or daily.
In addition, the report calls for increases in fines for violations. First and second time violations for parking would double from the current $25 dollars to a $50 fine. Third time ( or more), and the fine jumps to $75. Fines related to safety issues will increase to $75 and the fine for illegally parking in disabled parking stalls will increase to $100. Those who have a disabled permit will no longer be allowed to park for extended periods of time, they will have to follow the same time limits as anyone else.
Why do they keep adding more and more reasons to avoid going downtown??
How are increased fees and fines supposed to draw people towards downtown??
The City has been decreasing the number of parkings lots (the new grass/sod lot across from the Keg, the soon-to-be park beside the wood building, the 6th avenue lot becoming monthly instead of hourly) and now plans for this??
But at least its 23% below budget, so thats pretty sweet right!
I’m not sure I quite understand the issue people seem to be having with this.
As I understand it there is presently a parking crunch downtown. Many of the retailers complain that there is no where for their customers to park because the streets are filled with employees.
The retailers are paying a special tax levy of close to $500,000 per year to cut the cost of off street parking by 2/3s. Yet they still can’t get employees to park off street.
If you are a customer, 3 hours of free parking should be pretty good. If you are one of the few customers that takes more than 3 hours, there are several hourly lots.
If you are an employee, get off the street and stop playing the move your car every two hours game. Because this game is hurting the retailers. I often hear employees gloating that they only got two tickets in a month and that they are still ahead of the game versus parking off street. This irresponsible behavior hurts people.
There are lots of vacancies in the off-street parking lots.
It is pretty obvious that the city wants to make the downtown core so car unfriendy that everyone will ride their bikes. Of course nobody will buy anything because how will you carry your purchases on a bicycle?
Off-street parking downtown is extremely limited, and employees of downtown businesses often have no choice but to park on the street. Most city-owned parking lots are not even accepting names for wait lists, because the wait lists are full. If people do find parking, it is often several blocks from their place of employment, which means that in the winter, with arms full of lunches, briefcases, etc, it is unpleasant at best.
Add to that that the transit system in Prince George is woefully inadequate, with no direct route downtown from either College Heights or the Hart, and the buses that do go only travel every half an hour or more, people have few reliable and feasible alternatives to driving. It takes less than 15 minutes to drive downtown from the Hart and College Heights, but over an hour by bus, with transfers.
So, perhaps before jumping the gun on the crackdown for those nasty employees who take up all the on-street spaces, the city may want to consider improving bus and off-street parking options, making these alternatives more attractive than trying to get away with parking overtime or in the “wrong” spots.
Totally agree …
Yawn, more taxes and fines, like the working people don’t have enough already. How about handing out tickets for loitering, littering and public intoxication? But no, keep going after the honest money earning paying taxpayer, not the real problem.
Hm, no more browsing for books at the library! And how are they going to tell if the person is actually in the library and not at some other event at the civic centre. I really agree with others, not the way to encourage people to come downtown. The library and the Northern are my two main draws to the downtown.
What if I shop at the Northern in the morning and then go to the library later? Will that be determined as 1 trip? Another reason why not to go downtown!
Yes it will be. But if you are a user of the library, you will not be dinged for that time. The thing they do not say is how will they determine you are a user of the library, the Gallery, the Civic Centre, the pool, the civic centre plaza to just sit and enjoy.
They will have to put in signs at the Inn lot at the Civic Centre Plaza because half of that – diagonal half – is the City’s and the other half the Inn’s. So, the Inn could be hit with “illegal” parking and will have to spend money to enforce it.
There are many details missing in the report to Council. Not even a map of the area.
Shoddy report based on a shoddy idea.
There are much simpler ways of doing this, such as getting offices and other businesses to register the car licenses of those working downtown.
Of course, give the gathering of license plate information a couple of months and they will have that without asking. In fact, an “expert” piece of software will be able to pinpoint the geographical location of the place of work very quickly if they were to use the technology for a few months before the proposal is implemented.
The way I understand it with the license plate recognition system your license plate is tracked even if you move. After three hours you are fined so therefore one is not allowed downtown for more than three hours with a vehicle.
Going shopping and lunch can easily take more than three hours.
Am I wrong about the three hours?
If I am not wrong I see lights on in city hall, but is anyone home?
You are right with the exception that you can pay to park at a parking lot. There is where I expect a crunch to show up within a few weeks once it is implemented … not enough off street parking.
It will be worse in inclement weather, especially winter. The City had better keep the sidewalks and roads immaculately clear of snow and ice. The increase in pedestrian falling incidents could increase, not that anyone is tracking that.
If city council wants to ‘crack down’ on all the ‘bad’ employees of downtown businesses that want to park on the street (why else the parking bylaw changes?) perhaps they should consider making it more attractive to park in off-street designated zones. More spaces, less cost to park off street, and I would think most folks would choose to park off-street.
I find it very hypocritical that the same people making these new laws so that it will be more expensive to park for users of the downtown area, are the same folks who do not themselves have to pay for parking. Funny how that works out.
Anyways why so much emphasis on paying for parking in Prince George? It is a pretty small city, why does one get charged so heavily to park? $50/month is about the cheapest you can get for off street parking.
As mentioned above, the alternatives are not attractive. There is no bus stop within about 8 blocks of my house, and I live in a very central area.
When there are efficient alternatives to using my vehicle, then I would consider those alternatives. In the meantime, I guess we all get punished for having to get to work every day.
“perhaps they should consider making it more attractive to park in off-street designated zones. More spaces, less cost to park off street”
To me that is not a “perhaps”. It should have been done a long time ago. If that did not work, then go to a different system instead of the questionable expenses.
This system will operate (for now) from 1st Avenue to 7th Avenue, and Winnipeg St., to Queensway. (I Think). That is the ZONE. When you park in this ZONE you have a three-hour “cumulative” clock, which allows you free parking in the area for three hours. Your vehicle will be tracked in the Zone. If you leave the area and come back say an hour later I would assume that they system resets, and you start a new three hours.
One assumes that when you leave the ZONE you are off the clock.
What a pain in the *ss that would be, easier to stay away from downtown and park for free at the mall.
Except, you can’t borrow books from the mall! And I’m not buying them for one read!
Parking at the library is still free. You should be able to park there all day long as a user of the library. How they will police that, I do not know.
A simple way would be for an individual to enter the library and record that you have entered, including the license plate associated with your drivers license, and you can stay for the day ….
and then go shopping … :-)\\The thing is that they included that in the report, that users of those areas will not have to pay. What they have not explained yet is how that will be implemented.
Of course, for those who have several cars in the family, they can always go home and trade cars.\\It works in reverse if there is only one car and one person goes for something, then goes home, the next person goes, so there are 3 hours of shared time by two people or even three people. It is the car that gets dinged, not the driver.
It is the registered user of the car that gets dinged, who could be away on vacation for 3 weeks and have left the car for others in the family to drive.
the glitches are many.
How will they know you left the zone?
It would be nice if service (mechanical, electrical, renovation etc.) vehicles could be registered with and recognized by the new system so they could be left alone while the serviceman is doing whatever maintenance is required in downtown buildings.
They can be. There is a commercial permit available for these vehicles.
Politics at the city level…don’t you just love the stupidity…to bad each stupid decision costs us much.
For over 30 years I have heard about downtown revitalization and have not seen anything to improve it yet. Millions wasted on stupid studies, millions spent on buying land that sits unused for decades..
And how do they make downtown more attractive! Charging us more to park there…stupid stupid and stupid.
We pay for their mistakes …. including the mistakes for hiring the wrong people.
Remember, the roll out of this is being done while their new communications guru has been on the job since almost a year ago.
This is NOT the way to roll something as controversial and ill-conceived out.
As was said, the DBIA wanted to take care of it. It is their problem. They would not let them is my understanding.
There is no mention of keeping records of whether the problem has been solved.
1. are the merchants seeing an uptake in business?
2. are there more parking spaces available?
3. are the employees from downtown equally well served or better served?
4. is there more net income to the City received from the parking program
What are the measurable of this project? All anecdotal as I see it. The report to Council does not show that.
As I posted before, a very shoddy report. Totally unprofessional.
Sadly there is a ton of info missing here…clearly the full communication should have started prior to this bylaw cleanup going to council.
I am surprised the tin foil hat types haven’t mentioned being tracked by this flawed system.
YES –Move the Store owner’s Vehicles out of downtown so REAL customers can Park and Shop. Should of been done long ago.
Why do hard working people get the short end of the stick here. Punished for having a job. How come the city workers do not have to pay for parking in the parking lot at city hall? How is that fair? They get free parking to park in their parking lot all day long. Other employees downtown do not have parking lots or designated lots, so they should have to pay around $1200 per year extra to go to work? Something is wrong here.
.75 cents per hour? Calgary is $11.00 per hour.
Now the city would not be trying to reduce use of Four Seasons with pay parking would they, then turn around and say, hey look we are shutting down Four Seasons for lack of use. Naw the city would not do that would they?
Free parking at city hall the rest of you peons pay.
citizen3522 So what happens if I go and park at city hall for the day?
I don’t think its a no parking zone.
If we are talking about tracking every single license plate in the downtown area, we are talking about big data storage. If that data needs to be uploaded to “cloud” there will be hidden and unanticipated additional costs.
I would encourage mayor and council to look at projected revenue verse the full costs of implementing this license plate recognition program… because projected “return on investment” is everything here!
Do NOT park at City Hall, they will ticket you or have you towed. It use to be that you could park at City Hall after hours for hockey games, but they will not allow that anymore.
You can rent off street parking for $40.00 a month and the 2nd ave parking has open spots as I know someone that rented a spot during the winter for their summer car.
Comments for this article are closed.