End the scourge of the meters

End the scourge of the meters I would like other Yukon citizens to join me to protest the fact there are two to three full-time positions for giving out parking tickets in Whitehorse. I admit that I have an attitude against paying to park. But I gave thi

I would like other Yukon citizens to join me to protest the fact there are two to three full-time positions for giving out parking tickets in Whitehorse.

I admit that I have an attitude against paying to park. But I gave this up - OK, I understand we need the turnover, etcetera. Sure, choose your battles and the like.

Despite having put aside my initial opposition to paying for parking - and plugging the meters and parking in areas with no meters - I still manage to get a ridiculous number of parking tickets.

I understand the bylaw officer cannot know I paid and that the meter just expired because I was a) waiting in line at the bank, or b) ran into an old friend of my mother’s and decided to chat for a whole two minutes. Examples aside, the point is I pay 99 per cent of the time, but end up getting tickets because I miss repayment by a few minutes.

This is only possible because the meters are patrolled so frequently.

I have nothing, absolutely nothing, against the bylaw officers tasked with this duty.

I do, however, take serious issue with the fact they have been instructed to patrol so frequently.

I would prefer to see the money in wages going toward enforcing anti-littering laws (ever see someone get a ticket for flicking their cigarette butt onto the street?), or some other area covered by bylaw’s mandate.

A guy in a coffee shop told me that the city overspent installing meters at one point and that their remedy to this was to start patrolling the meters more Ð with not two, but three full-time officers.

I hope that this is not true.

I also heard that the money collected from parking tickets was given to the food bank. I wonder if this is true.

I will be verifying all this - asking the city to produce records and information - as well as justification for so much time and money spent on enforcing parking, especially when the city has no park-and-ride areas.

The final straw for me was when I got a parking ticket this past Friday - at 5:27 p.m. The street was half empty, there is no need to enforce proper parking turnover at this hour, but the officers are still out patrolling and giving tickets.

In my personal opinion, there is something seriously wrong with this and it needs to be stopped.

One of the reasons I live in the Yukon is because it is still a small enough town that there is not the hostility of public and private parking schemes where you have to pay $10 for half an hour and risk getting a boot put on your tire and paying $80 to get it off - like in some big cities.

I will go to the court appearance on the date specified on my last ticket to argue I think this level of enforcement is overkill and should be stopped immediately.

I will also bug city council about this.

I am asking for the help of others who share my irritation that so much time and money is spent enforcing parking meters, and I would like your help in putting a stop to this.

Show up for the court dates, refuse to pay tickets, bug city council and bylaw until this changes.

We have better things to fix in this city, let’s allocate our resources more reasonably, please.

Power in numbers - please help put a stop to this.

Danielle Daffe

Whitehorse