NEWS
11/22/2016 17:41 EST | Updated 11/23/2017 00:12 EST

No-parking-allowed street racks up tickets, frustrating residents

People living on a quiet Regina street are pushing for resident-only parking passes because they feel the city is issuing a high number of tickets.

"I've been fighting this for two and a half years," said Dagmar Babuik, a resident of Patterson Drive in the Hillsdale neighbourhood.

She said she has lived on the street for more than three decades and parking ticket issues only began to crop up in 2013, the same year in which the city doubled its number of parking attendants.

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Babuik was so upset by the situation she submitted a freedom of information request to find out how many parking tickets had been written on Patterson Drive over the 18-month period ending in May 2015. The answer: 131.

"The city knows we have nowhere for our guests, contractors, anything to park ... they have been coming here because they know we have no way out," Babuik said.

Street too narrow

Patterson Drive is considered too narrow for on-street parking, said Faisal Kalim, the city's manager of parking services.

But Babuik is convinced otherwise.

"We measured streets all over the city. We are actually wider than other streets around here that have two-hour or other parking," she said.

The city's traffic branch is now doing a review to see if the street is wide enough to support parking, Kalim said.

Resident passes favoured​

According to Babuik, the majority of people who live on Patterson Drive are in favour of resident permits. The alternative could be to allow two-hour parking during the day, which would invite university students to park there.

"There's a long, storied history when it comes to Patterson Drive," said Kalim. "There was community engagement done in 2006 and at that point the residents did not want parking at all — two-hour or anything. So, it was the residents' decision to remove parking on their road." 

​Saskatoon uses residential parking passes in a few neighbourhoods. Residents of Varsity View, near the University of Saskatchewan, can park on the street with a valid pass.

But resident passes are not an option for Reginans.

"Exclusive use of curbside parking to a particular user group is not a direction the City of Regina wants to go," said Kalim. "We want to make sure there is fair use for all users of the public space."

Number of tickets drops

According to Kalim, the city issued 75,500 parking tickets in 2015, which amounted to $2.3 million in revenue. The city issued roughly 100,000 tickets the year before.

Kalim said the drop in tickets is due in part to a communications strategy, ambassador program and a shift in tactics.

"We wanted to give people an opportunity to move instead of getting a violation right away," Kalim said.

"Our officers don't have quotas. We are looking for parking infractions and we're trying to encourage turnover and ensure people are safe. If an officer were to walk down a street and issue no tickets because everybody's parked legally, that's the ideal situation for parking services."