December 16, 2018 6:11 pm
Updated: December 16, 2018 6:43 pm

City looking for input to solve problems with Calgary’s residential parking permit system

WATCH: The city is looking for input into Calgary's residential parking permit program. Many people living in affected areas are frustrated with the vistor parking permit process and with non-residents using scarce street space. Carolyn Kury de Castillo reports.

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The ongoing construction at the Foothills Medical Centre has been a parking nightmare — not only for visitors and staff at the hospital, but also for people living in St. Andrews Heights.

Many streets in the northwest Calgary neighbourhood have moved to the residential parking permit system, but according to those who live there, the two-hour spots are being filled all day by hospital workers.

“They are working together as groups where they have one person with a number of keys to a number of cars and they move them en masse a couple feet ahead,” said Liz Murray, president of St. Andrews Heights Community Association.

The city is looking for public input on how to improve the residential parking permit system in Calgary.

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The city is looking for public input on how to improve the residential parking permit system.

“Particularly around visitor parking,” said Ward 8 Coun. Evan Woolley. “You can’t do it at the time the visitor is coming on the system and that is causing great delays and great frustration.”

Last year, the city made the move to electronic residential permits instead of paper permits.

The city is looking for public input on how to improve the residential parking permit system in Calgary.

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Homeowners who live in permit areas get two electronic permits for their own cars and are allowed up to two visitor parking sessions at a time, but that’s been a problem for people having more than two guests over.

“It’s done by phoning the city but we get mixed messages from the city,” Murray said. “Either the service is not available when you call for whatever reason or they tell you they need four days’ notice but the parking authority is telling us it can be instant.”

READ MORE: Inner city residents fed up with Calgary drivers dodging parking tickets

Murray said more education and enforcement would help but she also said residents need to do their part by using the parking spaces on their property.

“We have a lot of people with garages that are full of storage items who don’t ever use their onsite parking,” Murray said.

In some cases, even tickets aren’t discouraging people who really want a parking spot in a high-demand area.

“There are people who park in this community that would rather pay the fine once a week than have to pay — if they could even get parking on the site,” Murray said.

READ MORE: Calgary downtown, Kensington and the suburbs hotspots for parking tickets: city data

Residents can extend any visitor parking session for up to two weeks at a time.

Input can be submitted online or at workshops that will be held in January. The proposed changes will go to council in early 2020.

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