There are historically a couple of topics that inflame the Citizens’ opinions, one of them is the topic of Parking and Parking Fees.
Councils have wrestled with the problem of parking for decades and none of the solutions offered has satisfied the majority enough to sway public opinion and that is that “Downtown Parking should be free and the Bylaw Officers are aggressive and Parking Penalties are too high.”
The recent survey was conducted online and elicited 465 responses, and asked respondents to give their opinions about parking at the Waterfront. Controversial changes were made, John Draper Publisher of the Cobourg News writes, ” This issue goes back to 2021 when there was concern about managing crowds at the Beach. The Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee recommended a major increase in parking fees at the waterfront with passes available to residents.” Prior to the implementation of ‘day passes’ of $40 normal parking hourly charges prevailed. So it was a big jump in price and a big change for parkers to get their head’s around.
Approximately 2,685 parking tickets were issued within the waterfront area by bylaw enforcement officers from May 20 to October 10 inclusive. The chart below indicates the number of tickets issued, as well as the current status of tickets:
The interesting statistic is the number of trials requested – 330. How much money has been set aside for the bylaw department to defend these challenges?
All of these tickets produced $278,640.00 in revenue.
It is fair to say that this Council could get addicted to this way of raising revenue Total revenues from parking were gigantic this year compared to last year:
|Year||Total Revenue||Transfer to Parks/Waterfront||Transfer to Parking Reserve|
Can we expect to see change as a result of this survey and Council discussion – probably not. Council will debate the survey on February 21 it will be interesting to see what gets said and by whom. I would expect the debate to deviate from the strict topic of the survey to some remarks by Councillors with strong opinions about parking in general.
Back to the original purpose of the increase in parking fees – “This issue goes back to 2021 when there was concern about managing crowds at the Beach.” How’s that working out. We do not know; was the Beach less crowded this year than last? We have no report about that and in light of the lack of info the BurdReport can only opine that the principle of crowd control has long gone by the wayside in favour of cranking up the money-machine!