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LETTER: Halifax parking zealots drive away business, says Fredericton visitor


A $3 million contract for an Integrated Parking Technology Solution has been awarded to Sweden-based Cale Systems Inc.
- Eric Wynne photo

I arrived for a getaway to Halifax from Fredericton in the late afternoon of Aug. 22. I took advantage of available street parking while visiting a friend. I parked directly in front of a sign that stated “2H Parking — 8-4 — M-F.” The sign also indicated that I would be unable to park forward of my position, as it was posted “No Parking Except by Permit — 8-4 — M-F.”

Imagine my surprise when I went out the next morning to find that I was issued a ticket for being in violation of some street-cleaning ordinance. So, I went for a walk and found a couple of other signs that clearly indicated “No Parking — 12-8 — Street Cleaning.” Obviously, I was in violation, except there was no way that I could easily know about this infraction.

Thinking that this would be a simple fix, I took a photo of my car and the sign and when I returned home, I completed the “ticket review form” on the halifax.ca website.

I was surprised they denied my request for cancellation. I then called the mayor’s office, only to be told that he was out of town. My reasons didn’t seem to matter — while I was technically in violation, how could they not cancel the ticket, since I was an out-of-province guest and all, and there was no obvious signage about the street cleaning?

I asked the person in the mayor’s office, who shall remain nameless, if she’d have a quick conversation with the mayor when he returned about this matter, and I was told in no uncertain terms that she would not waste his time with this.

I was directed to another individual, who shall also remain nameless, and who, after a brief discussion, suggested that if the system adminstrators had the right to cancel tickets, everyone could call, and then all kinds of favouritism would be shown.

Can the City of Halifax have such little institutional common sense that it would suggest to a visitor — who spends money in HRM and who was given a ticket for something he did unawares — to take it to court? Really? How dumb is that? I mean, should I have checked every sign on the street? I pulled up, checked the signage and parked. Would the suggestion be that I should have checked the signage at the IWK? How about around the Metro Centre? Would these signs have an impact on the legality of my parking decision?

There are enough people at the city who have my information if they want to reach out. Otherwise, I guess I’ll just have to waste the court’s valuable time to contest this. Maybe next time, I’ll just stop and get a hotel room in Moncton when I want to enjoy a weekend getaway of dinners and shopping.

Roger Haineault, Fredericton

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