Confronting the city on parking

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April 7, 2015 8:15 AM

At Lloydminster city council’s last regular meeting on March 23, citizen John Van Cleemput made a presentation before council outlining his concerns with the enforcement of parking bylaws on private property

“Last year at this time, I came to you with a complaint regarding the non-enforcement sections of Parking Bylaw 29-2012. Since then nothing much has changed,” he said. “An uncounted number of citizens approached me to voice their comments and concur with my position that bylaw Section 37, handicap parking and fire and emergency lane ticketing, should be enforced city-wide as per bylaw wording. Many comments from these irate people were not very flattering to say the least.”

Van Cleemput said that he emailed city councillors to voice his concerns, but he only received two replies. He says that through a request for information on bylaw operations for 2014 he found that 5,289 calls alerting the city of parking infractions resulted in 2,265 tickets being issued, worth $178,960.

“Handicap parking stalls required by the city are not being patrolled and this is probably 90 per cent of the ones available,” he said. “Abuse is not only in not displaying the proper permit but expired permits displayed upside down and permit holder remaining in vehicle while other persons enter premises.”

He cited a CBC report that stated that 2,600 parking tickets were issued in Edmonton over an 11-month period. He says the problem is just as bad in Lloydminster. He closed by noting that utility and emergency workers access private property regularly, and argued the same should be true for parking enforcement.

“If your house is on fire, do you stop the fire department at the property line?” he asked.

Director of community services Don Stang says traffic patrols usually take place on city streets, and if residents spot any parking violations they can call the bylaw office and they will investigate.

“Our bylaw officers will go out and inspect what’s been reported and if it is deemed to be a violation, they’ll issue tickets from there,” he said.

“But we’re not currently actively patrolling private parking lots.”

The department of public safety is charged with enforcing bylaws in the city, and it is able to enforce bylaws on private property, but legislative services director Beth Kembel says there are certain “stipulations” to take into account.

“Administration and the department will review the practices that they follow for the enforcement,” Kembel said.

“Increased enforcement is increased dollars.”

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