The projected number of metered parking tickets issued by the Calgary Parking Authority in 2009 will nearly double the tally from 2008, but it’s still less than the number of violations in 2005.
Volume of infractions will hit 132,000 in 2009 — up from 70,000 in 2008, according to information provided to Metro by the Calgary Parking Authority. In 2005, however, the number of parking infractions was 136,000.
But there’s more to the numbers than what first appears, according to CPA general manager Dale Fraser.
Fraser agreed that it looks as though the number of tickets has skyrocketed since the implementation of ParkPlus, the automated fee service that replaced the city’s old coin-operated meters in 2008.
However, he points out, the number of tickets issued per parking space has decreased by 21 per cent compared with 2005 — from 33.9 per space to 26.9 in 2009 — primarily due to nearly 500 more inventoried spots.
“Calgarians are complying. They’re using the ParkPlus System. It’s giving them a convenient method to pay,” he said, adding that with the old coin meter system, more people took chances parking and not plunking, and were often ticketed.
More convenient payment methods like credit card and cellphone have put the compliance rate for parking at a respectable 84 per cent.
Calgary Downtown Association executive director Maggie Schofield said ParkPlus has created a more efficient turnover of parkers, increasing traffic and vibrancy in the core, by ensuring greater compliance with parking time limits because of the ease of ticketing.
“People are appreciating the fact they can more often find (parking) spots,” she said.
Schofield added that parking tickets did not appear to be a deterrent for people coming into the downtown.