New License Plate Recognition Plan Gets Green Light
Prince George, B.C. – Council for the City of Prince George has given a thumbs up to the new license plate recognition plan and the changes to fines for violations under that plan.
The plan calls for some changes for both on street and off street parking to improve enforcement of the parking bylaws and bring an end to the practice of downtown workers moving vehicles from one spot to another throughout the day to avoid exceeding the allowable time limit.
The pan calls for the 6th street parking lot to become a monthly permit lot only, and that fines be boosted for parking violations from $25 to $50 for first and second offences. The fine would jump to $75 dollars for the third offense Fines for more serious safety issues such as blocking a fire hydrant or crosswalk will be boosted to $75 dollars, and those parked illegally in a parking stall that is marked for the use of the disabled would be hit with a fine of $100.
Bylaw Services Manager Fred Crittenden says that as of Friday last week, 120 violation tickets had been issued to people parked illegally in a parking stall designated for the use of the disabled.
Parking fines for the first six months of this year, saw $107 thousand dollars in fines issued, and the City has collected about 66% of that amount.
Parking stall revenue is up about $60 thousand dollars over last year, mostly a reflection of the 15% increase in fees. Crittenden says there is still capacity at the off street lots.
“This (new license plate recognition system) is by no means a money grab, it’s just a way to change attitudes and do what’s best for the businesses downtown as a whole” says Crittenden. The new hand held units can apply an “electronic chalk” to the vehicle, and the hand held unit can then be transferred to other employees without loss of the “electronic chalk mark”.
“I wish there was a magic pill to solve all of the downtown parking problems” says Crittenden “It’s about having free parking downtown because that’s what the business people want.”
As has been reported earlier on 250News, the new parking plan will see parking enforcement start at 7 a.m., and will include new pay by plate stations for parking lots at the Civic Centre, Four Seasons Pool and the Library. The Pay by Plate stations will be located inside those buildings and patrons of those sites will be allowed a maximum three hours free parking before being ticketed.
Parking in off street lots will be free from 5 pm to 7 am and on weekends.
It is expected the new system will be rolled out this fall.
Driving people away from the downtown should definitely attract more business to the downtown core.
So in this politically-correct-green-initiative-save-the-planet-thou-shalt-recycle-or-be-cast-out-green-house-gas-global-warming-er-“climate change”-carbon-credit-safe-spaces world the city passes a law where we now have a truck driving around for 9 hours a day emitting pollution and green house gases?
City gonna plant a tree as a carbon offset for the 50 + hours of non-stop cruising?
So who gets the fun job of driving around the downtown core 80 laps a day to catch the bad guys?
Sure hope a person doesn’t get nabbed for exceeding their allotted 3 hours a day for visiting downtown to go to a doctor, then perhaps have lunch, then go back later in the day to shop.
Perhaps the City can put its fully electric overnight rechargeable Nissan Leaf vehicle to use for the job! Perfect match – no pollution!
Try this one on as an example.
1. you go downtown at 9:30 and park near your destination. At 9:40 a parking control person/vehicle walks/drives by and your plate gets logged into the system.
2. The car is still parked there at 10:30 when it gets logged into the system again. The system now shows you as parking in the monitored parking precinct and in that spot as tagged with a GPS co-ordinate. It will show that you have been in the same spot for 50 minutes, not 1 hour.
3. you leave shortly afterwards to go to the Pine Centre to do some shopping.
4. You drive back downtown to meet a friend for a late lunch at 1:30. The parking control comes by and logs your vehicle in at 1:45. The computer will now show you have been in the precinct from 9:40 to 1:45 which makes it 4:05 hours. It will spit out a ticket. The parking control person will place it on the car for a $50 fine for the actual parking time in the precinct of about 1:05 hours.
5. A very expensive jaunt downtown. The guard against this to fight the ticket in court? A dash cam or similar recording device which can be used in court or perhaps at City Hall.
A Royal Pain in the Neck……
Try a scenario with a one car family with two or more users of the car who have a legitimate purpose for being downtown. Those who have individual cars can each stay for a couple of hours or more. But, with one care, being there for 4 hours + means a ticket again.
The system is flawed. A CCTV monitoring system such as is used on London England to reduce centre city congestion would provide a much more accurate control of which vehicle entered, left, came back in, and left again. It would require no, or very little on street monitoring by staff.
Why did Council vote for it? Easy, they have been working on this since 2013 and earlier and they just want to get it done. Never mind some of these common glitches.
I do not want to have to make calculations, make a log of my trips and keep notes! So, I will do my shopping and dining somewhere else! The odd trip to downtown is unavoidable. Bit of a shame when the downtown was just getting more attractive and worth including in one’s itinerary!
More correctly it applies our to shopping and lunches!
gopg2015, double thumbs up!
Hey folks city employees have free parking at the city hall and can go restauranting and shopping for extended time if on a day off or a Saturday?
My thoughts exactly seamutt!
I wonder if Mayor Hall or Murry Krause would let me use their taxpayer funded parking spot at City Hall. After all, as a taxpayer, aren’t I already paying for it!
Hmmm, another thought just crossed my mind! Jillian Merrick doesn’t use her parking spot at City Hall! If she does use it, her bicycle certainly won’t use up the whole space, so maybe, just maybe if I ask her really really nicely, she’ll let me park in her spot for some unlimited time down town shopping and dining with friends, spending what little money the City hasn’t yet managed to tax us out of!
I look at the parking situation this way. The City is being very reasonable by allowing for a 3 hour no pay period.
In most cities it’s pay right off the bat. I’ve been to numerous cities in Canada where it’s park and then pay. No freebees.
So when I read the comments above, there seems to be this confusion where people think they are getting shafted because they park to do some errands and then come back later and get a ticket. What everyone should realize is in these situations they should pay for some parking on a city lot if they are getting close to the 3 hours being used up. This is a simple way to avoid a ticket.
The other thing people say is why don’t they just have free parking in PG. I think most people don’t realize how much money the City currently makes on parking. There are 3 parkades and I think another 6-7 parking lots that the City currently collects money on. I am one of those people in one of the parkades and I pay the City about $1,000 a year to park there. So if the City says free parking in the downtown and lets everyone slide, then guess what? Most people in the parkades and the parking lots wouldn’t park there if they could pay nothing.
So the City gets about $400,000 per parkade (rough guess) and then probably about $200,000 per parking lot. That roughly adds up to $2,500,000 per year. That’s before we even get the current offenders off the street from this licence plate recognition software. So unless someone is going to hand over $2.5M to the City every year, free parking will NEVER happen.
One thing to note when comparing parking in Prince George to other cities is that larger cities tend to have much more user friendly transit systems than we currently do. I’ve never parked a car in downtown Vancouver because the bus system is SO good that I’ve never needed a car down there, so to compare us to a centre like that is only valid if you take all things into consideration.
If we could to and from downtown without having to wait 30 minutes for a bus that takes 45 to get us where we need to go, I’d leave my truck at home almost every time I wanted to be downtown.
I’d be much more okay with paying right off the bat, or paying more for prolonged stays if there were easily accessible alternatives that didn’t take egregious amounts of time.
Does the “$2.5 million ” include staff wages and maintenance costs? Perhaps allowing more people to stay downtown longer would encourage more businesses to open and add more revenue to the city coffers.
My wife works downtown and has been parking a fair distance from her workplace but not in front of any businesses. She will be getting monthly parking. $1000 a year is a lot for our family. She is also an avid supporter of downtown businesses when working downtown. $1000 less a year to spend on downtown businesses.
Crittenden says this (new license plate recognition system) is by no means a money grab..
what is it then.
I will admit it part it may be useful and necessary.
Have to disagree, one is fined after a cumulative three hours and parking lots are not convenient for a lot of folks especially with mobility issues. How about people from out of town who do not understand the robbery system.
Just more reason to stay away from downtown.
I don’t know. I pay for parking and my lot is blocked right now by a paving project. Called the city, and was told, exceed 2 hours on the street and you get a ticket. So I guess I’ll have to waste time today moving my vehicle every two hours because people who make a hundred thousand plus a year couldn’t figure out a alternative plan. The last time, they gave us all a day pass to park on the street, I guess whoever thought of that must be retired or something.
For a number of decades I have shopped downtown…The Northern and CIBC are two places I visit probably once a week…as of this new money grab coming in my business will no longer include down town…Sad to say goodbye to the Northern…my banking can be done else where…
The Northern still have their own lot behind their store?
Just wait till the snow covers the plate. Free parking all winter – woohoooo!
There are a number of issue to consider with this parking fiasco.
1. We used to have meters downtown and people would have to keep feeding the meter or get a ticket. The City discontinued this because of the damage to the meters as a result of people smashing them and stealing the money. So rather than catch, and convict the criminals, they changed the system.
2. The new system was two hour free parking and then a fine if you were over. Problem is people just moved their vehicles to avoid the fine. Even with moving the vehicles the City generated over $200,000.00 in fines. Not bad revenue.
3. The Citys off street parking and parkade parking operate at approx. 70% capacity, so there is room for more people to park in the Citys facilities, and thus create more revenue.
4. Common sense should tell you that there is a finite number of people who park downtown on a regular basis. So if you force them to go into off street parking and they comply, then you will of course lose a considerable amount of revenue that you presently collect from fines. At best this whole system might not generate anymore revenue for the city than the present system.
5. So, is the new system a solution?? No it is not. In fact it is a prime example of the citys left hand not knowing what its right hand is doing.
6. Does anyone know if the City actually has enough off street parking to facilitate all the people who work downtown, and if not where are these people going to park. Are they going to be subjected to fines everyday of the week, or will they have to walk from an area outside the zone.
Those employed at city hall and fire hall #1 should be charged the same as everyone else using off street parking lots. If the city continues to hold the lot for exclusive use of city employees at no charge it then becomes a taxable benifit based on what is charged for a paid off street parking spot.
That said it would be best to hold it for exclusive use and charge so the money stays in town rather than bump up line 150 a tick or two.
The other option is to open the lot to the general public on a first come first served basis with the same rules that apply to on street parking.
All the Stores we go to, are not Downtown and why would we go there , to be accosted ,for you got any Change to spare, or whatever and pay for parking ? You really want to drive everyone away from it ?
It is completely a money grab. It’s all about forcing those currently parking for free into the 1/2 empty city facilities. The increase in the fine further proves that. You don’t spend $172k and not expect a return. If it wasn’t a money grab, why would you increase the fine?
as for all the fines issued and not collected…
who are not doing their jobs?
some one is lazy
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