As the downtown core continues to get busier, the City of Duncan is beefing up its parking enforcement in the area.
Council decided at its meeting on March 18 to amend the city’s towing policy to “increase enforcement effectiveness.”
The old regulations call for tickets to be issued to vehicles on their fourth observed parking violation, but they now will be issued on the third observed violation, and any parking violation after that.
Tow-warning letters were sent to vehicle owners after receiving five outstanding tickets, but now will be sent after receiving three tickets that are outstanding.
Relatedly, vehicles can now also be towed and impounded after receiving three tickets within the city limits that are still outstanding, instead of five under the old policy.
As well, for the first time, vehicles obstructing an event for which there is an authorized street closure permit, parade permit, or city-square use permit will be towed immediately outside of the area and a ticket issued for parking contrary to signage for street closures.
Tickets for parking against signage in downtown Duncan are now $25, but are $20 if paid before deadline and $31.25 if paid after deadline.
Paige MacWilliam, the city’s director of corporate services, said the city is considering increasing the fine to cover the costs of towing parked vehicles that are obstructing events.
“We have to figure out the costs of pulling the vehicles around the corner to determine how much to recommend raising the fine, and then an amendment to the bylaw is needed to implement it,” she said.
The city had adopted a towing policy in 2007 which provided direction to bylaw enforcement staff on towing vehicles that have multiple outstanding parking violation tickets.
However, since that time, vehicles have been towed infrequently by bylaw enforcement, but the growing pressures on parking downtown have resulted in these changes in policy.
In a staff report, MacWilliam said parking downtown is now frequently at capacity.
She said city staff have been focusing on obtaining the cooperation of all business owners and employees working in the downtown core to refrain from parking on the streets during business hours.
However, given the current and ongoing pressure on parking resources, council gave the green light for the changes to the parking rules.