New Parking Rules Kick In Today
Prince George, B.C. – The new license plate recognition program to keep track of on street parkers in the downtown core of Prince George, kicks in today. Bylaw Services Manager Fred Crittenden says there will be no grace period, today is the day the rubber hits the road.
(at right, new parking kiosk in off street lot-photo 250News)
The change to a license plate recognition system and the addition of new kiosks in the off street lots, has been in the works for a long time. It was first presented under the watch of the previous Mayor and Council, so the fact that it’s happening should come as no surprise to anyone in Prince George.
The good news is, the parking rules will only be monitored between 7 am and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday. There is no charge for off-street and on-street parking stalls during all other hours and days of the week.
As of today, the license plate recognition system can keep tabs on how long a vehicle has been parked on the streets of downtown regardless of how many times it has been moved from one parking stall to another. The system has been developed to reduce the abuse of the free parking allowed in the downtown which saw some folks moving their vehicles from one stall to another as the time limit wound down.
Some facts you need to know:
- The time limit for free on street parking on most streets in the downtown core is 3 hours ( that’s one hour longer than had been the case previously) There are some exceptions, but signage will let you know the length of the free limit.
- Off street parking is available for those who plan to be in the downtown for longer than three hours at a rate of 75 cents per hour, or $4 per day.
- On street parking limits will be enforced in the block bounded by Scotia Street on the east, to Winnipeg Street on the west, and from First Avenue on the north to 12th Avenue on the south
- The two hour parking areas in the residential area around the University Hospital of Northern B.C. will also be monitored
- Most fines for violators will be $50, which is double the previous amount charged for a first offence. The amount of the fine will climb after the second time you’ve been ticketed.
The City has nearly 2000 off street parking spaces in 15 off street parking facilities in the downtown. Monthly rates range from $55 to $140 a month and Bylaw Services Manager Fred Crittenden says the City is seeing folks come forward to lock into those month long rates “As of the end of September, we have an extra 120 monthly customers, and we just had a downtown business sign up for seven stalls on a monthly basis.” He says revenue from the off street lots for day parking is already up 31% over what it was in October of last year.
Crittenden says the new system will add efficiency to collecting fines, and a new bylaw that is being developed will allow ticket disputes to be handle through a municipal adjudication process rather than having to go to court. If the adjudication process doesn’t resolve the issue, the person disputing the ticket would still have the option to take the matter to court.
He says bylaw services is willing to hear from anyone who thinks they were unjustly ticketed ” Right now it’s as simple as making a phone call, we’ll get all the information from them We will have either the parking control supervisor, myself, or the senior bylaw officer review the ticket and then make a determination and if they’re not happy with what we’ve decided, they still have the option to dispute it in court.”
I think this is going to be a good thing. Now the system will become fair for those that work in the downtown. I know a fair number of my co-workers have parked on the street and moved their vehicles every 2 hours. This happened while the rest of us paid our $80/month in the parkade.
Now if they want to try and save a buck, they will have to do a lot more work. Eg bike to work, carpool or park outside the downtown zone.
Plus, I’m hopeful that the City will take some of the parking revenues and repave some of the parking lots. The Royal lot that is behind Bi-Right Furniture is in desperate need of re-paving.
Are they actually going to be able to pry a bylaws officer away from the office coffee pot long enough to actually do it?
I thought this was all digital? They just drive up the streets recording licence plates and if the computer indicates you’ve been there longer then you should be you get a ticket. I assume this ticket is mailed to you?
Good point, or will the cash grab car stop blocking traffic to place a ticket. If that is the case, location of the money car can be tracked with the horn honking by stopped drivers.
what about all the “so dirty can barely see them” license plates that there are so many of in this city? how can the cameras possibly pick those out or will the bylaw officers have to stop their vehicles and get out to clean the plates? maybe those with such dirty plates ought to get a ticket – where I come from having a plate that is unclear will get you pulled over by the police and depending on one’s attitude they will either get a warning or a ticket, in either case the plate must be cleaned off before one is allowed to move on
Just hang a bike carrier on the back of your vehicle, not only will it block the plate but the cops don’t care either!
notfromhere, the same thought crossed my mind!
Never mind dirty plates, how about the ones buried in snow in the winter. Lots of people don’t bother to clear their licence plate of snow, often leaving it completely hidden from view. The law requires that it be clear and unobstructed, but many aren’t aware or don’t bother to adhere to the law.
I wonder if the City will “urge” the RCMP to start ticketing those with snowy or muddy plates?
Keeping the rear plate clear of snow can be a challenge… if it’s snowing heavy or just plain lots of snow you would have to clean your plate off at every red light and basically every time you stopped..some vehicles rear plates stay cleaner than others…I drive a pickup and it extremely hard to keep it clean and free from snow…
So as has been said before I guess a ticket will be issued if one gets scanned while making multiple trips downtown adding up over three hours.
That was an interesting picture in the Citizen of the money car. Controls beside the driver, distracted driving or what.
Cant read the Plate = to not having a Plate = Double the Fine for Cleaning your unreadable Plate. Plate Cleaning Kit for Sale (Rag) available ,only in Prince George!
In addition to the car that will scan the plates, they will still have meter reading people walking the streets, so any plates that are obstructed can easily cleared.
Notice that with all the hype about how good this system is, there is no mention of any reductions in staff, etc;
Personally I think this system is just one more failed attempt by the City to implement a parking system downtown that works. This is their third attempt.
What’s that saying **Three times and your out**.
No problem,just stop in at City Hall and pick up your free ankle bracelet so they can track you. Another thing is if you think your licence plate may be dirty on the back of your vehicle just back into your parking spot.
Where are they or Who has the Bright Yellow Tire Clamps.
Come on PG — Your only doing Half a Job.
It will be interesting to see what will happen if someone who carpools stops to let someone out in the morning then stops again in the afternoon to pick that person up gets nabbed by the cash car.
So now what happens when I park my horse in front of Northern Hardware? DNA?
What a bunch of whiners you are. You get 3 hours free parking and then you have to pay a very affordable fee after that. This is to stop the abusers of on-street parking hogging the spots for potential customers of their businesses. If the employees have to walk a bit to get to work, good, we as customers have been doing that for years!
The City and Bylaw Services are like a kid whistling past a graveyard at night, pretending that everything is ok. This new system is fraught with problems a lot of which they are fully aware of, but are unwilling, or unable to correct.
As an example. We are entitled to 3 hours free parking downtown under this system, however if we parked downtown in the morning at 9am for 20 minutes and were scanned, and then returned in the afternoon at 1pm and parked for 20 minutes and were scanned we would get a parking ticket for $50.00 even though we were parked in the downtown for only 40 minutes. So at that point they download the responsibility for getting rid of the ticket on the person who should have never got it in the first place because he did not exceed the free 3 hours free parking.
Because the 3 hours free time in cumulative, you are in effect on the clock all day after you have been scanned. There is no way they can determine if you left the Zone and returned, and therefore if you plead your case effectively they will write off the ticket.
Fact of the matter is, this is harassment. Since when does a citizen and taxpayer have to deal with city on an ongoing basis to have them write off tickets that they should not have written in the first place.
In addition to the ticket that is in effect not valid, you have to phone the City and plead your case, if they disagree with you, then you can either pay the invalid ticket, or go to court.
So citizens will have to waste their time fighting City Hall because they chose to bring in a defective parking program.
There are many other problems with this system, to many to get into at this time.
This system has been in effect for all of 7 hours as I type. How can you conclude that it’s “fraught with problems” in 7 hours?
The downtown businesses must be having a banner day now that the only impediment to their success has been removed. I’m curious how much sales are up today, 200%, 300%? Would a few owners please chime in and let us know?
The details in this article make it very clear the whole purpose of this system is to force people into half empty city parkades, not to provide parking for the poor downtown businesses. That’s how they’re measuring success, by how many new parking stall rentals they’re receiving.
How is a person going to prove – using what kind of indisputable evidence – that she/he did in fact LEAVE the ticketable area and returned later in the day again??? I really would like to know how those in charge are going to handle this situation fairly and not always in their favour? I think Palopu is making some very good points.
axman. It fraught with problems because it is a defective system. The big problem is its inability to tell if you left the zone and returned.
Another problem that I foresee is simple mathematics. The City has 2000 off street parking spaces. These parking spaces at this time are approx. 70% utilized. So this leaves us with 600 unused off street parking places.
Now lets assume that we still have 1000 people who do not have a designated parking place. 600 of these can move to off street parking, the other 400 are **screwed** . If they park anywhere is the zone and go to work they are guaranteed to get a $50.00 ticket. If they park outside the zone (assuming they can find a spot) then they could be looking at a 5 to 10 block walk to work and back, plus if they want to go home for lunch they have to walk to and from their vehicle outside the zone.
The City was busy writing tickets all day to-day, so to-morrow we will have a lot of people who will be looking for off street parking, or who wont be coming downtown anytime soon.
We will have to wait a little while to see the ramifications of this system, however I am comfortable in stating that in a lot of areas it is a dismal failure.
very well said Axeman.
And for your licence plate being clear, that’s only if you are behind the wheel operating it. If it snows out while your vehicle parked, the cops cant give you a ticket while your vehicle is parked , that would get dismissed out of court so fast it would make your head spin.
what’s all the fuss about? there is nothing downtown worth parking for, for 3 hours – at least that I can’t see. LOL
Its more about people who work downtown, and people who drop off and pick up workers,. Also there are lots of volunteers who work downtown and they need to be able to park close to where they work.
If the system could clock you in and out of the Zone then it would be much better however its not able to do that, and as a result will cause all sorts of problems.
Its also about generating revenue for the City,. (Like they really need more revenue)
whoops – that should have been can see, not can’t
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