By Woodard, Dale on September 1, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge’s parking enforcement becomes active starting today.
But those parking downtown will be getting a polite reminder over the next two weeks before the tickets kick in for real.
A few incentives are also being provided.
To prepare residents for the return of regular parking operations, enforcement officers will place notices on windshields from today until Sept. 13 reminding customers to pay for parking. Parking tickets will formally be issued starting Sept. 14.
Starting today, City staff will assist customers with the parking kiosks and offer reminders about parking enforcement.
“We don’t expect people to pay right away or to expect they’re going to get a ticket,” said Dave Henley, senior bylaw enforcement officer for the City of Lethbridge. “For the first two weeks up until Sept. 13 we’ll be writing a notice for all vehicles who haven’t paid. They’ll have a notice on their windshield that just simply reminds them that as of Sept. 14 violation tickets will be issued. So there still is a little bit of a grace period for people parking downtown just to remind them it’s their responsibility to pay to park to avoid a ticket.
“The easiest thing to do is take a look at the adjustments that have occurred in the payment system. We understand people have some concerns, so there have been adjustments to allow for easier use of the Way to Park App.”
Since the onset of COVID-19, payments have still been accepted for parking but enforcement was limited to only focus on accessibility and safety as enforcement officers were redeployed to other efforts.
The City has consulted with the Downtown BRZ to introduce incentives starting today.
Those include a 50-per-cent reduction on the monthly Zone 10 price from $72 to $36, which will be available until Dec. 31, and a 50-per-cent reduction on the monthly parking permit at the Lethbridge Park ‘n’ Ride Transit Terminal from $105 to $52.50, also available until Dec. 31.
There is also a reduced minimum purchase amount on the app only from $1.80 to $1, also available until Dec. 31.
“We’ve worked with the BRZ office and we want to provide some incentives for those coming into downtown,” said Phillip Berg, parking co-ordinator for the City of Lethbridge. “We’ve reduced the monthly rates as well as at the Park ‘n’ Ride Facility by 50 per cent until Dec. 31. As well, we reduced our minimum purchase price on the App to encourage people to use their own devices to pay for their parking. It went down from a $1.80 minimum to one dollar, which is one hour worth of parking.”
Customers are encouraged to download the Way to Park app for contactless payment options. If this is not possible, customers should take proper precautions to clean/sanitize hands thoroughly after using parking kiosks.
“(The way) the App works is you open it and create an account and once you have an account created you select the zone you’re parked in and the amount of time you want to park and you put in your licence plate,” said Berg.
Berg said the City’s media department will be releasing a new how-to video on the Way to Park App and to watch for it on social media.
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