Paid parking tickets are increasing by $10 in the Halifax area.
On Tuesday, the Halifax Regional Council voted 15 to two to raise the fee from $35 to $45 – or $40 if paid within seven days. The fee will likely come into effect in the fall after the municipality consults with the province.
“Parking downtown is easy, parking is relatively cheap. It only costs a few dollars to park downtown. I think that’s about right,” Coun said. Shawn Cleary, who voted in favor of the raise.
“If businesses were against this, we’d be inundated with letters saying, ‘Don’t do this thing’… Most small businesses I know want revenue in these public car parks.”
Cleary said he did an experiment for a month and a half to see if people actually got a ticket for going five or 10 minutes over the parking meter. In six cases, he said he paid for 15 minutes of parking and waited an additional five to ten minutes to return to his car to see if he had a ticket. He said that never happened.
“I don’t think our parking enforcement staff are running around looking for that one minute overtaker…I think that’s more of an urban myth than reality.”
Com. Tim Outhit voted against the fee increase.
“I just find it a bit ironic that bringing your dinner receipt clears your ticket,” Outhit said, referring to a program that started this month and will run through the end of September.
Under the temporary program, individuals who produce a receipt for at least $35 from a local business, issued within three hours of receiving a parking ticket, can apply to have their parking ticket canceled at the payment terminal.
Com. Waye Mason said most paid parking fees are generated in his district in downtown Halifax. He said the cost to park for a day downtown was between $25 and $30 in a lot.
“If we’re going to manage street parking and make sure we have parking available…I think we need to raise the ticket price,” Mason said.
A staff report on the matter estimated that increasing paid parking violations to $45 would result in additional annual revenue of $300,000 to $450,000.