The City of Duncan will introduce escalating parking tickets for the downtown core.
Currently, the ticket for parking longer than the posted time in downtown Duncan is $25, which is reduced to $20 if paid early and increased to $31.25 if paid late, and that will remain the same for first-time offenders.
But council decided at its meeting on Aug. 19 to increase the ticket for a second offence to $50, and $75 for the third and subsequent offence.
The tickets can also be a little less or more depending on whether they are paid early or late.
Paige MacWilliam, Duncan’s director of corporate services, said that for most people, a $20 fine is enough of a deterrent. “However, we’re aware of between 20 to 30 people who still repeatedly receive parking tickets for disregarding the time restrictions posted,” she said.
“Most pay the tickets as they are issued. So in the interest of addressing those who do not find the parking tickets a deterrent, staff recommended that the fine amount be increased, and/or that there be a system of increasing fines depending on the number of infractions. We’re hoping that adopting escalating parking fines will help to achieve their compliance.”
The long-standing policy of free three-hour parking in Duncan’s downtown core has been reduced to 90 minutes on a number of streets as part of a pilot program the city initiated earlier this summer.
Station Street, Kenneth Street, and Craig Street are included in the 90-minute parking program as part of the city’s efforts to increase traffic turnover downtown to have more spaces available for drivers that only need to stop in the area for lunch or a short number of errands.
There were no changes to the three-hour parking in the Canada Avenue and Kenneth Street parking lots.
The pilot program is intended to encourage those who repeatedly break downtown’s parking rules to seek a long-term solution for their vehicles if they intend to come and go from the downtown and surrounding area, rather than simply moving them from one free parking space to another throughout the day.
On Aug. 19, council also decided to add Duncan Street and Evans Street to what the city considers its downtown core in an additional effort to stop those people who move their vehicles from one time-regulated space to another in the downtown core throughout the day.
The parking bylaw considered the area bounded by Canada Ave, Ingram Street, Boundary Road and Government Street as one block for the purpose of limiting re-parking, and this change will expand that block to include Duncan and Evans Streets to help the city increase parking availability along those streets.
This bylaw amendment will not impact the 90-minute parking on Evans Street and Duncan Street.
MacWilliam said the 90-minute parking trial seems to be working out well so far.
She said since the pilot program began earlier this summer, the city has not received any written feedback about it.
“But we have heard from some people verbally that they are supportive of the trial,” she said.
“People have been complying with the new regulations. We have seen a slight increase in ticketing, although for the most part the tickets are being issued to vehicles that have previously, and continue to, repeatedly disregard the time restrictions. We will be reviewing the impacts further and reporting back to the parking advisory committee later in September.”