Steveston parking crackdown nets 2,500 fines

City of Richmond bylaw officers issued 2,500 tickets to motorists in Steveston last summer in a crackdown aimed at freeing up parking spaces.

With an average of 22 tickets per day handed out, the city earned $68,750 in revenue during a four-month trial of a new parking strategy that dispatched a full-time parking cop to patrol the village.

“Generally, members of the public and some merchants registered concern that enforcement was overly aggressive and, as a result, created an unwelcoming atmosphere in the village,” noted Joan Caravan, the city’s transportation planner, in her report to a council committee today (Wednesday).

After surveying business owners and residents, staff are recommending changes to parking management in the village. Key recommendations include increasing the parking time limit on city streets and civic lots to three hours from the current two, and scrapping the trial’s requirement of a $50 monthly permit for lane parking.

A three-hour limit is what the Steveston Merchants Association favoured, according to the city. The group contends typical visitor activities of dining, shopping and sightseeing take longer than two hours.

“While a longer time limit of three hours will slightly decrease turnover and may encourage employees in the village to occupy the spaces the potential disadvantages are likely to be more than offset by the increased convenience for visitors to this regional destination.”

City staff are also recommending a somewhat softer approach when it comes to enforcement. Instead of a full-time officer dedicated to the village, the officer would also patrol elsewhere in the city—yet still provide regular Steveston patrols.

City council has yet to vote on the changes.

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