CALGARY- A woman who says she has proof that she moved her car just minutes after realizing she was in a tow-away zone has still been hit with a ticket.
Earlier this month, Linda Olsen parked on 10 Ave. and 1 St. S.W., then walked to a pay machine.
“I went to pay for my parking and then immediately I looked at the sign above and it said that at 3:30 p.m. this is going to be towed, and I couldn’t be certain that I wouldn’t be longer than that,” she explains. “So I went into that [Impark] parkade and luckily they had a spot. It cost me 24 dollars, but I made my appointment, left, then a week later in the mail I receive a ticket.”
It turns out a Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) vehicle had passed by during the few minutes she was walking back from the pay machine. Despite having proof she paid for parking nearby, the CPA refuses to overturn the ticket.
“I really thought that this is clearly a case of, you know, a situation that makes sense. That this woman paid 24 dollars, she didn’t want to be towed, she wasn’t there for hours,” Olsen complains. “The difference is six minutes, and I thought it would end at that.”
The CPA says the bylaw clearly states that payment is required, regardless of how long a vehicle is parked.
“When a minimum payment is made—and it can be as little as 25 cents in most zones—when we go to review that transaction in our database and we see the payment and we see the plate photo, no ticket will be issued,” explains Miles Dyck.
Olsen plans to argue the ticket in court, based on principle.
“I guess my question is why do I have to do that? Why do I have to do all these incremental steps when I really wasn’t in the wrong? Most logical thinking people that I’ve spoken with say ‘yeah, I see your point.’”
If a parking photo shows a driver still inside a vehicle or it’s in the process of being loaded or unloaded, tickets are overturned.