City of Saskatoon Votes To Double Parking Fines Effective June 1, 2012

Update:

People around the city will think twice about ignoring parking meters as council voted to double early fines from $10 to $20 effective June 1, 2012. Photo by Morgan Modjeski/Metro

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Parking scofflaws in Saskatoon may start thinking twice about not paying, as parking ticket fines are set to double.

Angela Gardiner, manager of the transportation branch with the city, said the reason administration made this recommendation is because they were seeing more revenue from parking tickets than actual meters.

“In the last five-years we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of tickets for expired meters compared to the revenues, so they haven’t grown at the same rate,” said Gardiner. “This leads us to the perception that people are choosing to get a ticket as opposed to plugging a parking meter.”

She pointed out the current fine for a ticket, if paid within 14 days, is $10, while the cost of paying for parking for an entire day is $18.

However, some Business Improvement Districts say Saskatoon should be looking at an entire parking revamp, including more methods of payment and other options. Not just an increase in fines.

“The board would like to see everything move together,” said Randy Pshebylo, executive director of the Riversdale BID. “It’s not just clear cut as parking ticket fines, it’s a compressive package that needs to be convenient for the consumer who has a choice of going to a suburban mall and not facing those issues.”

Factbox:
Parking Rate Comparison

  • Edmonton: $35
  • Regina: $45
  • Vancouver: $35 within 14 days
  • Victoria: $20 within 14 days
  • Winnipeg: $35 within 15 days

See an exerpt from the City of Saskatoon Council Minutes minutes:

2. Penalties for Parking Violations
(File No. CK. 6120-3)
RECOMMENDATION: 1) that the discounted penalty for parking at an expired meter, parking in a pay station zone when time purchased has expired, and parking longer than traffic signs allowed be increased to $20.00, effective June 1;
2) that the City Solicitor be instructed to prepare the appropriate bylaw amendment; and
3) that the matter of parking penalties be reviewed in the Spring of 2013 and annually thereafter.
ADOPTED.
Your Committee has considered the following report of the General Manager, Infrastructure Services Department dated March 22, 2012 and puts forward the above recommendation.
“BACKGROUND
The Executive Committee, at its meeting held on March 5, 2012, during consideration of a report of the General Manager, Infrastructure Services Department, dated January 21, 2012, regarding the Parking Infrastructure Upgrade and City Card Replacement resolved, in part:
“that the Administration report further on the matter of the parking ticket charges and early payment options.”
Traffic Bylaw, 7200, outlines the penalties for parking at an expired meter; parking within a pay station zone stall; parking within a pay station zone stall when time purchased has expired; and parking longer than traffic signs allow. The current penalty for such violations is $50, with a discounted penalty of $10, if paid within 14 days. This penalty was last reviewed in 2007, when the discounted penalty was increased from $6.
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012
PAGE 45
REPORT
As the demand for parking in the various Business Improvement Districts has increased, so have the associated rates for parking meters to accommodate that demand. The following table outlines the parking meter rates over the past five years.
Year Parking Meter Rate Per Hour
Prior to April 2008
$1.00
April 1, 2008
$1.50 (Riversdale maintained at $1.00)
January 1, 2009
$1.50 (Riversdale exception eliminated)
January 1, 2010
$2.00
While the revenue from parking meters has increased due to the increase in rates, the revenue from parking tickets is increasing at an even higher rate. This can be attributed to the fact that the cost to park at a meter for the entire day (i.e. 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.) would be $18, whereas the penalty to park at an unpaid meter for the entire day could be as low as $10, if paid within 14 days, and providing that a subsequent ticket isn’t issued during the course of the day.
Attachment 1 shows the increasing trend in parking meter tickets issued in the City of Saskatoon.
The ultimate goal of managing parking is to find the balance between parking meter rates and its associated penalties, in order to provide a deterrent to violating the time limits, thereby ensuring parking turnover.
The table below provides a comparison of the parking meter violation penalties in municipalities across Western Canada.
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012
PAGE 46
Comparison of Penalties
City
Expired Meter / Expired Pay Station Stall
Parking Longer Than Signed Time Limit (in metered area)
Saskatoon
$50
$10 if paid within 14 days
$50
$10 if paid within 14 days
Calgary
$90
$65 if paid within 30 days
$55 if paid within 10 days
$280
$215 if paid within 30 days
$175 if paid within 10 days
Edmonton
$35
$35
Regina
$45
$45
Vancouver
$70
$35 if paid within 14 days
$70
$35 if paid within 14 days
Victoria
$40
$20 if paid within 14 days
$40
$20 if paid within 14 days
Winnipeg $70 $35 if paid within 15 days $70 $35 if paid within 15 days
As the table indicates, the City of Saskatoon’s discounted rate is significantly less than other western Canadian cities.
It is the Administration’s opinion that the current $50 penalty is appropriate, when compared to current parking meter rates, however, if the discounted penalties for parking at an expired meter; parking in a pay station zone when time purchased has expired; and parking longer than traffic signs allow, were to be increased to $20, it would provide a deterrent, while still providing an incentive to pay the penalty early.
OPTIONS
No other options were considered.
POLICY IMPLICATIONS
If changes were to be made to the discounted penalties for parking meter violations, Bylaw 7200, The Traffic Bylaw, would need to be modified.
COMMUNICATIONS PLAN
If changes were to be made to the discounted penalties for parking meter violations, a communications plan would need to be prepared to notify the public and businesses, including public service announcements and notifications in the StarPhoenix, as well as on the City’s website.
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING OF CITY COUNCIL
MONDAY, APRIL 16, 2012
PAGE 47
STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION
The Broadway Business Improvement District has concerns with respect to the lack of turnover in metered parking areas, and believes that the existing fines are no longer a deterrent. They are, therefore, in favor of an increase to the discounted penalty.
The Partnership and the Riversdale Business Improvement District would like to wait until new methods of parking payment are in place before considering an increase to the discounted penalty.
FINANCIAL IMPACT
If an increase to the discounted penalties for parking meter violations were to be increased to $20, it is anticipated that parking meter revenue would increase and the number of parking meter tickets would decrease. The goal of parking penalties is to accomplish compliance with parking stall usage/payment with a minimum of violations occurring. As penalties are a deterrent, no net budget impact would be allowed.
ENVIRONMENTAL IMPLICATIONS
There are no environmental implications.
PUBLIC NOTICE
Public Notice pursuant to Section 3 of Policy C01-021, Public Notice Policy, is not required.

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