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October 27, 2017 8:28 pm

New Downtown Parking System In Effect Monday

Thursday, November 3, 2016 @ 6:00 AM

Prince George, B.C. – The new license plate recognition system and new  parking lot kiosks  in downtown Prince George will be  in effect as of Monday  November 7th.

The new system is aimed at  opening up  on  free street parking spaces which  have been abused by some who work in the downtown area.  In the past, the three hour free  time limit meant people would move their vehicles from one space to another  to avoid being ticketed.    The new system means  free on street parking  will only be allowed for a  maximum three hours of cumulative time regardless of the  location of the vehicle.  In other words,  parking in one spot for three hours,  then  moving  the vehicle to another within the downtown zone for another three hours,  will no longer be allowed.

Those who need to park in the downtown for business lasting longer than three hours,   are encouraged to  park  in the off street parking lots at a cost of 75 cents an hour,  or $4 per day.  Monthly permits  are also available and range in price from $55 to $140 a month.

The new system will only be enforced  between 7 am and 5 pm  and the City  is prepared  to hear from those who want to dispute their ticket.  The City says a review process has been developed to ” review and adjudicate tickets that drivers wish to dispute. If you receive a ticket you feel was unwarranted, please contact the Service Centre at 250.561.7600 or servicecentre@princegeorge.ca. ”

So far this year,  more than 300  vehicles  have been issued  three or more tickets for violating the  free time limit,  and  two of those vehicles have been ticketed  15 times.

If  your vehicle is found to be in contravention of the new downtown parking rules,   the first time fine is $50.





75 cents an hour or 4 dollars a day and people are complaining? Try parking in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary.. I went to an Oilers game and it cost $25 to park for the game.

    This isn’t Vancouver Edmonton or Calgary. I hate when people wish to compare Prince George to places that have populations of over 800,000 not 80,000. People here don’t want to live in Vancouver Edmonton or Calgary so quit using them as examples.

      You are right, PG is not Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver, that is why the first 3 hours are free and it is only 75 cents an hour or 4 dollars a day. I still don’t see why people complain about that, who shops for more than 3 hours downtown anyway? If you shop for 4 hours it is 75 cents for the extra hour, sheesh…

    It’s not Vancouver so I feel the comparison is unfair. Plus… isn’t there a lot of empty parking spaces in downtown PG? There may be even less now. If I was a business in downtown PG I would move now.

      I don’t know, 1/10th the size 1/10th the cost to park, seems fair.

15 times, a what point will the city simply call the tow truck.

    I’m wondering if they paid those 15 fines?

Yessss WHAT WERE THEY THINKING at City Hall.. That many tickets, assuming unpaid, should have been towed away instead of making the rest of us pay for their stupidity. LYNN HALL….. WAKE UP

    I don’t think its stupidy, but an act of rebellion to the system. Thus this individual figures, he/she can do what ever they want with out consequences. Thus have no respect for the rules and or regulations. Have them come back to a empty stall. levy all the fines against them to be paid in full before they get their vehicle back.

My guess is that they will drive the people off the streets to park in their off street locations which will generate additional revenue for the City.

If parking on downtown streets was a problem (which I sincerely doubt) then once those people who work downtown move their cars, the streets should be empty. This is because there are not that many shoppers downtown, especially in the morning.

So we could end up with hundreds of empty parking spaces every day that cant be utilized by some shoppers because if they use a space in the morning, and return in the afternoon they will still be on the clock, and will get a ticket. People who work downtown and use their vehicle to go for lunch might decide to pack a lunch rather than walk to the off street parking for their vehicle, and then return to off street, and perhaps not be able to get a parking space.

It will be interesting to see how this thing rolls out.

So if i park downtown for the first 3 hours are free. I can now run in and out without having to worry about pay parking ?

    Parking downtown has been free for many years now. They’re just imposing a time limit now.

      They have chosen an imperfect system to do that. That is the problem.

“Those who need to park in the downtown for business lasting longer than three hours, are encouraged to park in the off street parking lots at a cost of 75 cents an hour, or $4 per day.”

There are many situations that the City has not considered when looking at this system. The solution would have been (and will continue to be if they continue to have a lot of tickets) to add pay kiosks.

Here are is a sample situations which should have been given consideration:

In the morning at 9:30am, park on 5th, go into SpeeDee for 20 minutes to discuss getting some photocopying done and then go back home or to your place of work outside the zone at Pine Centre. Return downtown at 3:30pm to pick up the printing which means parking for 15 minutes.

Your vehicle happens to get scanned on both occasions and it will show that you have been downtown for at least 6 hours. You will get a ticket sent or find one on the vehicle in the afternoon.

It does not take a rocket scientist to look at many other possibilities which arise in a similar fashion. The reason why this is a faulty system is simple. Unlike some systems in congested urban areas such as London England, the PG system does not identify vehicles when they enter the zone and exit the zone.

Calgary also has 27 permanent traffic monitoring cameras to monitor central city traffic volumes. If PG had a full fixed Automatic Number Plate Recognition system, we would not have to worry about the imperfect system we have been given.

Time will tell how users will react. Hopefully one problem will not become another one which too will cause people from not using businesses in the downtown are.

    I’m curious about the process to “review and adjudicate tickets” that will be available. Is the onus on me to prove I wasn’t there for 6 hours (using your example) or is the City required to prove that I was there for those 6 hours?

      How much time and money will the City pay fighting those that wish to dispute their ticket? City workers don’t come cheap!

      I wonder how long it will be before there is massive backlog of disputed tickets in the system, waiting for a review and adjudication?

I think 3 hrs free parking is a great thing. When I do businesse downtown, or lunch, or banking, I might take 2 hrs. I say be happy everyone.

    It’s the people who work there and have been parking all day for free that are the most upset. Their gravy train just got derailed.

    Of course, since they’re mostly publicly funded workers, I don’t doubt that somewhere down the road the taxpayers will have to pay for their parking.

    Three hours free parking is a great thing, although I would suggest that because the streets, and off street parking was paid for by tax payers it is not exactly free.

    The problem comes in when you have to go in and out of the zone on a number of occasions during the day.

    As and example. If you drive someone to work and drop them off and happened to get scanned in the morning, you would still be on the clock in the afternoon when you came to pick them up. The City has no way of knowing that you left the zone and returned,. Another example would be your going shopping in the morning for a few hours downtown, and then your spouse or one of your children take the car downtown in the afternoon. You would get a ticket, because it is the vehicle license plate that is monitored not the people.

    So in essence if the car was downtown in the morning being used by one person, and was then back downtown later in the day used by a second person, the second person would get a parking ticket even if they only parked downtown for 20 minutes on that particular day.

    So you can see why the City has a review system. They cant be issuing a ticket to someone who parked for 20 minutes when they are allowed 3 hours free parking.

    There are many problems with this system, and it should never have been implemented.

    Its all about the money.

Don’t work downtown and I go there once every month or so for a Saturday morning coffee at a little place across from city hall. The parking issue is downtown employees who park there all day long while they work. It’s plain and simple. If they want to park on the street for convenience or for safety, create a window sticker and a special parking category that allows them to legally park on the street all day and make them pay big bucks for it. If it’s too much money and they are too lazy to walk from a parkade then they can use this system and pay for it. This new system is just plain dumb. I’m going to have to hire an accountant and Kreskin in order to get my head around the numerous rules and regulations.

    no need, all we have to do is stop going downtown… when the bussiness owners start complaining, then city hall will have to pull their heads out of the orifice and rethinks this money grab scheme of theirs.

Both gopg2015 and palopu make good points, and these examples should be clarified by the city before implementing the new parking regulations. If a person makes more than one trip into the downtown area in a day, which could be a common occurrence for a lot of people, and it has the potential to constitute a fine, then it will discourage shopping in the downtown area. The rules are not clear.

This system is in place (successfully) in many, many other cities. You all seriously think the City is not aware of all the ways in which the system works, or doesn’t work??? Give your heads a shake.
The only people that will be inconvenienced by the system will be those trying to cheat the by-laws. If you don’t want a ticket then follow the rules….simple.

    The system is not in place (successfully) in other areas. If it is, then give us some examples.

    At present we get two hours free time parking downtown. After that we are subject to a fine. The system presently works on hand held devices, or they mark your tires. In order to avoid the ticket people who park downtown move their vehicles every couple of hours.

    This new system is applicable in a specific zone (for now) which encompasses the area from 1st Avenue to 12th Avenue and Vancouver St., to Scotia St. (East of Queensway). Once you park in that area you are allowed three hours free parking, after which you are subject to a fine. If you move your car to another location in the zone you will still get a ticket because the three hours is applicable anywhere in the zone and the time is cumulative.

    The City has bought a new system that allows it to drive up and down the streets in the zone and record license plate numbers and record the time etc; This vehicle can take pictures on both sides of the street at the same time and will patrol all day throughout the zone.

    Soooo. If you were to park at Northern Hardware at 9am and then went home and returned to the bank or to see a doctor at 2pm and parked on a street in the zone you would get a parking ticket, even though both times you parked were less that three hours, and the cumulative time you parked did not exceed three hours. The machine calculates the time that they first scanned your plate and the next time it scanned your plate and calculates the time. In this instance it would show you as being in the zone for 5 hours.

    So this creates a problem for the City. Mainly because the system has no way of knowing whether or not you left the zone and returned. That’s why they have set up a phone line, so that people who are being harassed by continuously getting tickets can phone and have them written off.

    The problem is, is that it should not be the taxpayers who have to make these calls and complain on a continuous basis, when it is the City who implemented the system.

    That’s my understanding of how the system works, however I could be wrong.

      That is the way I understand it as well

      The Automatic number plate recognition camera and computer simply recognizes the apha-numerics on the plate and stores it to a data base. The data base can be used for many purposes such as searching an insurance, police, parkade, zone, toll, etc. data base which can identify stolen cars, outstanding fines, time of record collection, time a vehicle passed a certain point on a highway, bridge, etc. including when a vehicle entered a zone and left a zone and so on. The uses are limited only by the imagination of the people using them.

      However, some uses are imperfectly set up. PG’s is one of those.

      A fully operating urban zone system is in operation in the central precinct of London England, for example. It comprises stationary cameras place at access roads on the perimeter of the zone and can record when a vehicle enters and leaves the zone and will record that information against the vehicle and send tolls to the recorded owner of the vehicle based on charges posted on the internet or other means for those who do not have the tools to allow them to access the internet. There can be different charges for different days, different times of day, different types of vehicles, etc.

      The PG system is a mobile system typically used by the police to check license plates against a list of stolen vehicles, searching records for unpaid fines, locating people they are following in criminal investigations, etc.

      When that system is applied to a city vehicle intended to check for parking violations that works for violations such as parking in a loading zone, handicapped parking spot, RCMP parking spot, bus stop, etc. It can then send out a letter, email, etc., notifying the vehicle owner of the violation and imposing a fine if that is appropriate. It can also pick up owners who have not paid past tickets, and impose additional fines for that. The range of purposes is limited only by privacy laws which may be in place or come into place at some time in the future due to increasing number of court cases which are and will continue to come about for misuse of the system. Typically, the records are supposed to be destroyed after fines have been paid or some other triggering event.

      Of course, we have no way of auditing the use of the system and its records unless a citizen’s rights statement is issued along with the owner of the system, in this case the City of Prince George. In fact, a next step is required which annually audits such records in the same fashion as financial audits of a City. If not, the population will continue to build up the level of distrust in government as we see in the Trump supporters in the USA as well as some of the posters on this and other internet sites in Canada.

      Finally, the mobile system does not work for the purpose it is intended in the downtown of PG. For that to work properly one replaces the roving City vehicles, uses the bylaws enforcing staff for some other purposes (we can certainly use them for that) and places some 50 to 100 stationary cameras on the perimeter of the defined zone, connects them to a computerized monitoring system, and issues any parking charges and/or fines, stores them on a web site similar to TreO operated for bridge tolling in the GVRD.

    1. Identify the cities.
    2. Identify the purpose they have installed it.
    3.Identify what they consider to be successful.

    This is a system that is being put in place for one purpose, and ONLY one purpose, to remove those people who work downtown or must be downtown for some other reason for longer than 3 hours, do not park in parkades or other off street parking lots because they want to get away without paying and are willing to be inconvenienced and move the care every 2 ½ or 3 hours.

    There are many scenarios of people who have no interest in cheating, have no kiosks or parking meters to pay for parking but come on more than one occasion to the downtown to park for as little as a few minutes at a time and happen to get scanned during one of the approximately 1 ½ hour cycles of the monitoring vehicle. Some of those scenarios are spelled out by several commenters.

    It appears that you do not understand the problem with the system. I am afraid it is difficult for those who understand it to make you understand it.

    Sounds like a Trump supporter to me. ;-)

So if someone goes downtown at two different times, then they are ‘cheating the bylaws’? That was the question that was asked and hasn’t been answered. One thing that I have noticed on this site when I visit it from time to time is people come up with ideas, questions or comments, and then the insults that follow are surprising, to say the least. ‘Give your heads a shake’. Really?

    In my opinion this is not only true of this site but virtually any site on the internet.

    It has been building up over the years to become an acceptable way of commenting and thinking.

    Also, in my opinion, we are seeing the results of that being played out in the real world in the USA Presidential election campaign.

    Some simply make statements, and others try to fact check, and then the shouting matches and name calling starts.

    How has our society come to this???

My comment above was regarding reality check. Also, thank you for the explanation, Palopu.

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