After paying hundreds of dollars in parking fines, a downtown business owner has come up with a new way to express his frustration with the city's aggressive parking enforcers and old meter technology.
Daniel Bombardier, who owns a design studio on Pelissier Street, has covered his car in a massive parking ticket he printed to draw attention to his cause.
The ticket imitates a city parking ticket. Only it's much larger.
"We did this project ... to shed some light on the parking wars ... downtown Windsor," said Bombardier. "We needed to draw some attention to the parking issues downtown, which is the antiquated technology they use to enforce ticketing."
"We wanted to shed some light ... on the aggressive nature of parking attendants, the meter maids. Just have it out for people, the one's who are getting the majority of the tickets are the people who are always down here every day, which are the business owners," he said.
Bombardier's worst day was when got slapped with three tickets outside his shop. The first was when he ran in to get change for the meter.
"I pulled one spot up and I thought the ticket was good still. Twenty minutes later I got another ticket. You don't get a break down here," he said.
Bombardier said he came up with the idea to print out the large ticket a couple of weeks ago because he wanted to make a statement about the cost of tickets going up from $15 to $17.
"With the vacancy rate and the lack of people down here parking is such a huge issue for everyone, because you get a $17 ticket and there goes the money you were going to spend downtown," he explained.
Windsor has lowest rates, fines in province
Usually there are six officers working in parking enforcement every day in Windsor, explained Bill Kralovensky, supervisor for parking enforcement with the city.
He said the downtown area does have more meters and is more congested so it may appear like the officers are just circling. But they are not.
"The City of Windsor is the cheapest for parking rates in the entire province," said Kralovensky. "We're also the cheapest for our parking fines as well. What ever you have, people are going to complain. If we raised it a dime they're going to complain."
His advice to business owners is to take advantage of the parking tokens they can buy from the downtown business improvement association (BIA) for half the price and provide them to their customers.
Bombardier said the BIA provides business owners with 10 parking tokens downtown that add up to about two hours of parking, but said the tokens don't help.
He said he looks out for everyone that parks near his shop. He's paid tickets for customers, and he plugs meters if he sees the parking enforcers come around, which he said they do several times a day.
"They come by this area about five times an hour ... in nine hours, they are ticketing about 45 times a day," he explains.
His message to the city, "Update the systems. If you're going to use this to make money you should be responsible about it and use fair technology because it's very unfair right now."