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.”