Not giving up

Alisha Morrissey
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Councillor will continue parking ban fight

St. John's Coun. Danny Breen isn't giving up his fight to improve the rules around the winter on-street parking ban.

Breen again raised the issue at Tuesday's public works meeting, arguing there has to be some creative thinking done to come up with a solution to the problem.

St. John's Coun. Danny Breen isn't giving up his fight to improve the rules around the winter on-street parking ban.

Breen again raised the issue at Tuesday's public works meeting, arguing there has to be some creative thinking done to come up with a solution to the problem.

Breen said it was ridiculous that people were being ticketed on cul de sacs at 7:15 in the morning, when the ban ends at 7:30 a.m.

He told the meeting that 1,700 more tickets were issued this year than last, to which Deputy Mayor Shannie Duff quipped, "With less snow."

"People think if there's no snow they can park there," said Coun. Debbie Hanlon, adding she, too, would like to see changes to the parking ban, which tickets cars between the hours of midnight and 7:30 a.m. from early each new year until March 31.

This year, city enforcement officers have written 7,129 of the $45 tickets. That's up from 5,897 in 2009.

That's up from 5,897 in 2009.

Duff even suggested if there was no snow perhaps city enforcement officials could just look the other way.

Breen has been receiving complaints from constituents and regularly raising the issue, explaining that the city has enough problems on its plate without creating a new one.

He's suggested changing the hours and provided examples other cities' policies - most of which don't ticket if there isn't snow.

Breen has also advocated that those who write tickets should be using discretion.

He says you can't rationalize the ban to callers.

City staff argued that they want consistency, for people to get into a routine of parking off the street. Further, changing the hours of the ban means changing shifts to less productive times to be clearing snow and the technology is not in place to warn residents when there is snow coming to pull their cars off the street.

Breen said bringing up the issue for discussion now - months away from the implementation of next year's ban - will give them time to come up with a good solution.

"I'm not looking to bend the rules," he said. "I'm looking to change them."

City Manager Ron Penney said this conversation is had every year, but agreed that staff should put together information about the current system for council to look at before making any changes.

amorrissey@thetelegram.com

Geographic location: St. John's

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Recent comments

  • Manuel
    July 02, 2010 - 13:33

    Well I never voted for any of those clowns in that so called city office.
    You idiots voted them in now live with your dumb decision.
    Maybe start a petition to remove them from council, after all nothing is getting done except fighting amongst councillors again. What a complete waste of tax payers money.

  • Sherri
    July 02, 2010 - 13:31

    In Ontario (Ottawa) parking is banned on City streets only if 5 or more cm's if forecasted or if we are cleaning up after a major snowfall - the system works quite effectively and people know not to park on streets under these situations. I fail to see how the City of St. John's is unable to work under the same situation.

  • Keepin' It Real
    July 02, 2010 - 13:23

    Is it really that radical to think that there must be a way for SOMEONE at the city council to decide whether or not tickets should be issued and to get this information out to the public? Cripes, use TV, radio, Internet, take the Batman route and put a big light on Signal Hill that shines Dennis O'Keefe's silhouette into the sky, whatever... ASSUMING that the council actually wants to solve the problem and not just protect this little source of income and assuming that the city staff isn't just trying to avoid doing a little bit of extra work.

    Here's a question for you: does anyone ever see these crucial ''snowclearing operations'' that these cars are interfering with on those nights when there is no snow?

  • Jackie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:21

    I think it's crazy that they were ticketing people up until March 31 this year. We had, what, 3 snowfalls in total this winter ? With dry roads there's no excuse to be ticketing people. I agree that if someone parks on the street and it snows overnight they should be ticketed (watch the forecast!) but on dry roads it just seems mean.

  • Paul
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Revenue? Certainly. In approving the Woolworth Project $10M Duff said we, meaning they, can recoup the $10M, from the people they took it from in the first place, by raising parking fees and issuing more tickets. There is a sickness at City Hall.

  • Taxpayer
    July 02, 2010 - 13:19

    Does anyone still believe that the tickets are not a revenue generator? Look at the money that could be saved on salaries for this useless work.

  • Kent
    July 02, 2010 - 13:18

    I agree with Paddy Joe.... I find it hypocritical, not to mention stupid, that the city tickets cars for winter parking when there isn't any snow on the ground or snow clearing operations going on. Meanwhile, they turn a blind eye to delinquent households who refuse to cover their garbage, or put it out the wrong day, resulting in garbage strewn all of city neighborhoods. If the homeowner refuses to pay the ticket, then they should be billed for it on their property taxes. The same would also apply to businesses operating in the city that have garbage all over their property. The Village Mall is one that comes to mind. There is a fence on the east side of the parking lot bordering Columbus Drive that is covered in litter. It should be cleaned up regularly. This is the citys main artery and it looks disgusting. If council wants to make the city a better place to live, start with these things, rather than hassling motorists whose parked vehicles pose no issue to snow clearing.

  • Tom
    July 02, 2010 - 13:17

    There was very little snow this year and the city wasted the majority of their snow removal budget. How much over time do you offer? You should have had a budget surplus of over half. This council has to go. Simple solution to the parking issue. Parking enforcement actually goes with snow clearing operations and tows the cars that are blocking operations. Giving a ticket does nothing to clear the way for snow removal. It is nothing more than a tax grab.

  • Howie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Here is an easy solution, skip the tickets, as a car parked with a piece of paper on windshield is still impeding the snow clearing operations.
    Try what most cities do, you parked there after hours, no ticket pay impound yard to get your car back as it has just been towed and the streets can be cleared.
    Also be smart about it...
    No snow = No tow away.
    This does not seem to be a huge issue to right.

  • taxpayertoo
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Sherry from ON has an excellent suggestion, no parking when there is snow in the forecast. Most people are aware of the forecasts during the winter. It would not be that difficult.

    Also I hear that when they are ticketing they cannot be everywhere at once so another solution would be to have the streets that are on the agenda be posted on the St. John's website so people will know.

    Lastly it would probably be a good idea if the length of time was shortened. It was nice not having to worry about it over xmas holiday so start the ban after the holiday and end at the end of March.

    Personally I think the easiest and best solution is to have the ban in effect only when there is snow in the forecast. Once again a posting on the city website could be available for confirmation.

  • Geoff
    July 02, 2010 - 13:16

    Common sense isn't common anymore it seems. The simplest resolution to this is for the taxpayers to play by the rules. The parking police need to be a little more realistic, but for the most part, if you have a ban in place, make sure its the right one and enforce it.

  • Mike
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Shannie Duff, Deputy Mayor of Downtown St. John's quipps, with less snow . Didn't she block the Fortis project? We really don't need more revenue for the city. Just go out in the outskirts and tax away. The next time there is an election, vote only for the names you don't recognize. After a few elections, we may end up with a council who understands why they are there.

  • Paddy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    Now that Spring is upon us could the Enforcement Officers be re-deployed from traffic to enforcement of the city's littering and illegal dumping laws? If they show the same enthusiasm in these pursuits as they do for ticketing illegally parked vehicles, our city would be a lot cleaner.

  • Townie
    July 02, 2010 - 13:12

    The Parking Cop business is a joke. Tickets when it doesn't snow.... Remember a couple of years ago our Andy was giving the big halftime speach at a Challenge Cup soccer match at King George.... come to St. John's spend your $$ ....the Parking Cops were dropping $45 bombs on cars as fast as they could write them. Park in YOUR OWN DRIVEWAY with the rear bumper of your car hanging 2 over the sidewalk....$45 present from City Hall. It's not only the present council that has been up to this nonsense, it's been going on for years. Grow up City Hall....work with your tax payers, don't kick us in the teeth & laugh at us when we bleed!!

  • Billy
    July 02, 2010 - 13:11

    Do I have this right? Parking is forbidden on certain St. John's streets between midnight and 7.30 AM, from ?? (December?) until March 31st? Simple solution, People! DON'T PARK IN THOSE AREAS AT THOSE TIMES. And don't try to tell me that Environment Canada ALWAYS predicts snow events accurately. I've been there, got the tickets, paid the fines and moved on.

    The one I really disliked was the Garbage Day parking ban, which I never got the hang of, as I overnighted in St. John's at fairly random intervals. Thank you for those opportunities to contribute to Council's coffers.

  • Manuel
    July 01, 2010 - 20:22

    Well I never voted for any of those clowns in that so called city office.
    You idiots voted them in now live with your dumb decision.
    Maybe start a petition to remove them from council, after all nothing is getting done except fighting amongst councillors again. What a complete waste of tax payers money.

  • Sherri
    July 01, 2010 - 20:20

    In Ontario (Ottawa) parking is banned on City streets only if 5 or more cm's if forecasted or if we are cleaning up after a major snowfall - the system works quite effectively and people know not to park on streets under these situations. I fail to see how the City of St. John's is unable to work under the same situation.

  • Keepin' It Real
    July 01, 2010 - 20:08

    Is it really that radical to think that there must be a way for SOMEONE at the city council to decide whether or not tickets should be issued and to get this information out to the public? Cripes, use TV, radio, Internet, take the Batman route and put a big light on Signal Hill that shines Dennis O'Keefe's silhouette into the sky, whatever... ASSUMING that the council actually wants to solve the problem and not just protect this little source of income and assuming that the city staff isn't just trying to avoid doing a little bit of extra work.

    Here's a question for you: does anyone ever see these crucial ''snowclearing operations'' that these cars are interfering with on those nights when there is no snow?

  • Jackie
    July 01, 2010 - 20:05

    I think it's crazy that they were ticketing people up until March 31 this year. We had, what, 3 snowfalls in total this winter ? With dry roads there's no excuse to be ticketing people. I agree that if someone parks on the street and it snows overnight they should be ticketed (watch the forecast!) but on dry roads it just seems mean.

  • Paul
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Revenue? Certainly. In approving the Woolworth Project $10M Duff said we, meaning they, can recoup the $10M, from the people they took it from in the first place, by raising parking fees and issuing more tickets. There is a sickness at City Hall.

  • Taxpayer
    July 01, 2010 - 20:01

    Does anyone still believe that the tickets are not a revenue generator? Look at the money that could be saved on salaries for this useless work.

  • Kent
    July 01, 2010 - 20:00

    I agree with Paddy Joe.... I find it hypocritical, not to mention stupid, that the city tickets cars for winter parking when there isn't any snow on the ground or snow clearing operations going on. Meanwhile, they turn a blind eye to delinquent households who refuse to cover their garbage, or put it out the wrong day, resulting in garbage strewn all of city neighborhoods. If the homeowner refuses to pay the ticket, then they should be billed for it on their property taxes. The same would also apply to businesses operating in the city that have garbage all over their property. The Village Mall is one that comes to mind. There is a fence on the east side of the parking lot bordering Columbus Drive that is covered in litter. It should be cleaned up regularly. This is the citys main artery and it looks disgusting. If council wants to make the city a better place to live, start with these things, rather than hassling motorists whose parked vehicles pose no issue to snow clearing.

  • Tom
    July 01, 2010 - 19:57

    There was very little snow this year and the city wasted the majority of their snow removal budget. How much over time do you offer? You should have had a budget surplus of over half. This council has to go. Simple solution to the parking issue. Parking enforcement actually goes with snow clearing operations and tows the cars that are blocking operations. Giving a ticket does nothing to clear the way for snow removal. It is nothing more than a tax grab.

  • Howie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Here is an easy solution, skip the tickets, as a car parked with a piece of paper on windshield is still impeding the snow clearing operations.
    Try what most cities do, you parked there after hours, no ticket pay impound yard to get your car back as it has just been towed and the streets can be cleared.
    Also be smart about it...
    No snow = No tow away.
    This does not seem to be a huge issue to right.

  • taxpayertoo
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Sherry from ON has an excellent suggestion, no parking when there is snow in the forecast. Most people are aware of the forecasts during the winter. It would not be that difficult.

    Also I hear that when they are ticketing they cannot be everywhere at once so another solution would be to have the streets that are on the agenda be posted on the St. John's website so people will know.

    Lastly it would probably be a good idea if the length of time was shortened. It was nice not having to worry about it over xmas holiday so start the ban after the holiday and end at the end of March.

    Personally I think the easiest and best solution is to have the ban in effect only when there is snow in the forecast. Once again a posting on the city website could be available for confirmation.

  • Geoff
    July 01, 2010 - 19:56

    Common sense isn't common anymore it seems. The simplest resolution to this is for the taxpayers to play by the rules. The parking police need to be a little more realistic, but for the most part, if you have a ban in place, make sure its the right one and enforce it.

  • Mike
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Shannie Duff, Deputy Mayor of Downtown St. John's quipps, with less snow . Didn't she block the Fortis project? We really don't need more revenue for the city. Just go out in the outskirts and tax away. The next time there is an election, vote only for the names you don't recognize. After a few elections, we may end up with a council who understands why they are there.

  • Paddy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:50

    Now that Spring is upon us could the Enforcement Officers be re-deployed from traffic to enforcement of the city's littering and illegal dumping laws? If they show the same enthusiasm in these pursuits as they do for ticketing illegally parked vehicles, our city would be a lot cleaner.

  • Townie
    July 01, 2010 - 19:49

    The Parking Cop business is a joke. Tickets when it doesn't snow.... Remember a couple of years ago our Andy was giving the big halftime speach at a Challenge Cup soccer match at King George.... come to St. John's spend your $$ ....the Parking Cops were dropping $45 bombs on cars as fast as they could write them. Park in YOUR OWN DRIVEWAY with the rear bumper of your car hanging 2 over the sidewalk....$45 present from City Hall. It's not only the present council that has been up to this nonsense, it's been going on for years. Grow up City Hall....work with your tax payers, don't kick us in the teeth & laugh at us when we bleed!!

  • Billy
    July 01, 2010 - 19:48

    Do I have this right? Parking is forbidden on certain St. John's streets between midnight and 7.30 AM, from ?? (December?) until March 31st? Simple solution, People! DON'T PARK IN THOSE AREAS AT THOSE TIMES. And don't try to tell me that Environment Canada ALWAYS predicts snow events accurately. I've been there, got the tickets, paid the fines and moved on.

    The one I really disliked was the Garbage Day parking ban, which I never got the hang of, as I overnighted in St. John's at fairly random intervals. Thank you for those opportunities to contribute to Council's coffers.