St. John’s went paperless with its street-cleaning schedule this year, resulting in a lot more paper — parking tickets — tucked under windshield wipers.
As a result, the city plans to return to mailing the schedule out to residents next spring.
Coun. Jonathan Galgay, chairman of the city’s public works committee, told The Telegram on Friday that city council thought its decision — he noted it was one made by the previous council — to eliminate the paper street-cleaning schedule mailed to homes would prompt people to use the city’s website to find out when they needed to move their vehicles off the street.
Instead, the city has seen an uptick in parking tickets — and requests to bring the paper schedule back.
“There was an increase in parking tickets this year,” said Galgay, who couldn’t provide exact numbers of how many $20 fines were issued.
“People were not moving their vehicles, they were not checking the Internet — it was a big problem, especially in the downtown. The other night we had 35 tickets on Gower Street alone.”
The public works committee approved the proposal to resume the mailout, which will now be voted on by council. It’s too late to mail out schedules for the remainder of this year, said Galgay.
The street-cleaning schedule ends in mid-September, but if council accepts the recommendation, the mailout will resume in 2015.
“It’s endless calls from people getting tickets who were not aware that the street-cleaning was happening,” said Galgay — although the committee also discussed the possibility that the fine isn’t enough of a deterrent.
“Are people just leaving their cars there because the fine is not very much?”
For now, the city will just consider resuming the mailout. Galgay said more than 500 people called the city this year to request a paper copy, which was provided.