The best kept secret in town is that drivers can get a parking ticket cancelled, if it was issued within 10 minutes of the time expiring.
But why can’t parking enforcement officers observe the grace period and hold off on issuing the ticket until at least 10 minutes after expiry of the time purchased for parking?
It seems like a much better way to extend the break than to make drivers trudge into one of the city’s four parking ticket offices and stand in line to get it cancelled.
The Star’s Paul Moloney reported yesterday that the city has not exactly been jumping up and down to make people aware of the 10-minute grace period, which was approved last summer.
City council voted this week to ensure that the grace period and other elements of the parking ticket cancellation guidelines are highlighted on the city’s website.
It’s as if the city wants to pretend to be cutting people some slack on parking tickets, but doesn’t really want anyone to know about it.
Councillor Josh Matlow was quoted in the story as saying it would be better if parking enforcement wouldn’t write a ticket until 10 minutes after the time expired, instead of the five-minute period it currently observes.
Can’t city council ask parking enforcement to ease the burden on drivers by not writing the ticket for 10 minutes, instead of five, so they don’t have to go to the trouble of cancelling it?
And if parking enforcement will not go along with the request, shouldn’t city council ask the police services board to order that the grace period be doubled to 10 minutes?
It would merely formalize the city’s new policy, and amounts to a consumer-friendly way of ensuring that people don’t have to go to a municipal office - with the expired pay-and-display stub and parking ticket in hand – to get it cancelled.
Matlow noted that retail businesses on streets where overtime parking is rigidly enforced have complained that drivers are less likely to stop and shop if they’re worried their paid parking will expire while they are still in the store.
It seems to me that city council should make sure the break is extended by a parking enforcement officer, instead of a clerk in an office.
Who’d complain? Not drivers or shopkeepers.
It’s a win-win situation, unless there’s an element of illusion about it.