Number of parking tickets increases in fall

Photo by Thiviya

Photo by Thiviya

Parking tickets are something many students come across during their time in Waterloo. The tickets, given in violation of parking bylaws around Waterloo, typically cost $35 and must be paid within 15 days of being received, or appealed within that time.

The city of Waterloo experiences a huge population swing through the year, as most students go home for the summer in May and come back to school at the end of August. With this volatility in population numbers, you might also expect the same in the number of parking tickets given out.

“It’s hard to say there’s a causation to the jump from August to September,” said Christopher Mulhern, manager of compliance and standards for Waterloo municipal enforcement. “I don’t want to say it’s because students are coming back, but there are more vehicles on the road.”

But during the first few months of the new school year there is an increase in the number of parking tickets handed out.

In 2013, the City of Waterloo handed out a reported 4,953 tickets in September and 4,308 tickets in October. Both of these months saw increases when compared to the summer parking ticket statistics, which float between 4,174 in May and 3,577 in August.

“If you look at it, June, July and August are when people take their holidays, so there’s not as many cars on the street at any given time,” said Mulhern. “Regardless of who’s driving and whether they’re students or visitors, there are not as many cars on the road in Waterloo in the summer.”

Regardless of whether or not the numbers increase proportionately to population changes, parking tickets are still a reality for many students living in Waterloo.

Tickets can often be a nuisance and fighting them can be time consuming.

“I pretty much just went out to my car one day, and I go up to my car and there’s a ticket on the window of the car. Which is weird because I’m in a private lot,” said Adam Gilbert, a second-year student at Wilfrid Laurier University. “I looked at the ticket and it said I was illegally parked on private property, which isn’t the story because someone else was parked in my spot.”

Gilbert then had to address the ticket by speaking with the owner of the private lot, who had mentioned calling City of Waterloo Bylaw to ticket cars parked in improper spots. The lot owner was able to get the ticket voided, but Gilbert still had to invest his time to get rid of his violation.

“There’s an ebb and flow to parking itself, and I wouldn’t be comfortable making the cause and effect argument regarding students returning,” said Mulhern. “I would hope that it is not in relation to the students coming back, but that could be a minor piece to it. There are students returning with vehicles, but so are their parents and people coming to take courses.”

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