UPDATE: This motion passed unanimously at committee on Tuesday, meaning the parking fines in Edmonton will increase in the new year.
If a report receives council approval, Edmontonians should get ready to pay more when a bylaw officer slips a parking ticket under their windshield wiper.
A report released on Thursday and heading to city council’s community services committee next week, recommends fines increase for things like letting the meter expire, parking in restricted zones or parking next to a fire hydrant.
The report recommends a $25 increase for some violations, with prices jumping to either $75 or $100.
The biggest proposed jump is for tickets during large snowfalls. The report suggests fines for parking where a seasonal ban is in place go from $50 to $100.
“We also looked at what other cities’ rates are. Ours was low when it came to seasonal ban parking,” Pleckaitis said.
“One of the challenges that we have is there’s limited tow truck availability. It’s especially true when we’re dealing with inclement weather events. Tow trucks are obviously dealing with collisions, vehicles in ditches. It’s important that we get those vehicles off seasonal ban routes so we can get our graders on those streets and get those roads cleared.”
Pleckaitis agreed that some people might see a ticket as a cost of doing business, citing illegal parking around Commonwealth Stadium during events.
“So yeah, we’re trying to make this not worth the risk and making sure we have the right fine value is one way to do that.”
Coun. Scott McKeen sees parking as an ever-growing land use issue, especially in areas downtown – north of Rogers Place – and even in and around major employment centres like hospitals.
“Parking is a limited resource and it’s becoming more and more dear over time and people will ignore the rules,” he said.
However, McKeen has some sympathy for people who aren’t able to cope now that parking meters are becoming a thing of the past.
“My concern is that we go too hard, too fast on fines when we’re introducing a cultural change with EPark.”
You can read the report on parking below.