‘I’m up to $520’: Parking tickets during school drop-off rile Vancouver parents

Click to play video: 'Vancouver elementary school parents accused city of cash grab tickets'
Vancouver elementary school parents accused city of cash grab tickets
Parents at a Vancouver elementary school say the City of Vancouver is giving them $120 tickets for dropping their children in a no-stopping zone, even though nearby construction has taken away many of their usual drop-off spots. Cassidy Mosconi reports – Mar 12, 2024

Parents at a Vancouver elementary school are speaking out against the city, accusing it of an unfair cash grab by issuing parking tickets when they drop off their children.

Parents whose kids attend Henry Hudson Elementary School in Kitsilano told Global News that nearby construction of a new school has cut the drop-off zone by more than half.

They are then pulling up in no-stopping zones to let their kids out of the car.

Carey Beaudin has twins in Grade 3 at the school.

“There’s a lot of parents that come here to drop off their kids, obviously the entire population of the school,” he said. “But the city has restricted the drop-off zone by over half. They’ve eliminated the drop-off zone on the whole other side of that road over there.”

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Beaudin said about half of the drop-off zone on the opposite side of the road has also been eliminated.

“We’re just dropping off our kids here,” he added. “But they’ve actually designated this entire zone as a no drop-off zone. So even if you stop for one second, they’re taking pictures of your car and then they’re just mailing you a ticket.”

Beaudin said he asked the parking officers what other solutions were available and he was told parents could park further away and walk their children to the school.

However, he does not think that’s a reasonable solution.

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Beaudin said in the past two weeks, he has seen City of Vancouver bylaw officers across the street from the school on three separate occasions, often standing on private property and taking pictures.

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“I’ve taken pictures of them a couple of times and I’ve also gotten fines in the mail,” he said.

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“And again, this is just for a second, right, you’re letting your kid out. And you’re trying to get them as close as you can to the school because you don’t want your children in Vancouver crossing streets or anything like that. And then in that short amount of time, they give you a ticket.”

Beaudin said he has hundreds of dollars in fines.

“Right now I’m up to $520.”

Parents said they would like to see temporary signs for a three-minute stopping zone so they can drop off and pick up their children.

They said neighbouring schools have them.

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Om Mogerman, manager of parking enforcement for the City of Vancouver, said it received a request from the school last year to increase enforcement in the area due to the challenges with parents stopping in the no-stopping zone.

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“The temporary no-stopping zone was implemented to support construction activities at the school,” he said.

“No-stopping zones are implemented to improve sightlines, and allow clearance for a driveway or a crosswalk. This is especially important in school zones particularly at pick-up and drop-off times.”

Mogerman said in the last six months, the city has increased the number of officers from one to two.

“The enforcement activities are done across all school zones on a rotating basis,” he added.

“This allows drivers to see the officers and to deter them from parking illegally. Unfortunately, some drivers will still ignore the officers and choose to stop illegally, which poses significant danger to the students. The amount of time a vehicle stops in a no-stopping zone is irrelevant as all it takes is a split second of inattention for an accident to happen.”

Mogerman said city staff have been directed to be firm in their application and enforcement of all the bylaws.

“There are designated drop-off and pick-up zones at all schools, including at Henry Hudson Elementary that parents can use while construction is ongoing. It’s located at 1900 York,” he said.

Mogerman said there are designated parking spots at the school and other locations, including:

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  • East end of York (No Parking 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. provides parents five minutes to drop off)
  • 1800 York (free parking at the meters until 9 a.m.)
  • 1700 W 1st – two-hour parking zones
  • 1800 W 1st – metered parking

The Vancouver School Board made no one available to answer any questions.

Instead, in an email, they suggested families park further away and walk.

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