Manitoba

Winnipegger ticketed twice calls city out for tricky parking sign

A Winnipeg woman is fed up with the parking signage on her street in St. Boniface after receiving not one, but two parking tickets for separate offences.

Raini Barrett says she parked within area deemed OK by sign, but was ticketed twice nonetheless

Raini Barrett has a court date to fight the ticket she received for parking in an intersection because she feels the parking signage is misleading. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

A Winnipeg woman is fed up with the parking signage on her street in St. Boniface after receiving two parking tickets for separate offences.

"When I'm [parked] right beside the [parking] sign, I've gotten a ticket for parking within three metres of a crosswalk," said Raini Barrett.

"When I backed up and didn't park within three metres of the crosswalk, I got another ticket for being within an intersection, even though the sign is so clear that you're allowed to park on either side of the sign."

The parking sign on Bertrand Avenue indicates that drivers can park on either side of the sign. If drivers park ahead of the sign, they can be ticketed for being too close to a crosswalk. If drivers park behind the sign, they can be ticketed for parking in an intersection. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

The sign is placed near the intersection of Bertrand Avenue and De La Morenie Street. It is three metres from the dip in the curb that indicates a crosswalk, but the parking sign has arrows pointing in both directions, indicating that drivers can park on either side of the sign.

If drivers park ahead of the sign, they can be ticketed for being too close to a crosswalk. If drivers park behind the sign, they can be ticketed for parking in an intersection.

"It is misleading and I feel like I'm being tricked. I think a whole bunch of people are being tricked," said Barrett.

"The sign so clearly says that you can park there, but then you get ticketed for doing so."

Barrett's car was parked along Bertrand Avenue in September 2015 when she received a ticket for parking in an intersection, even though the sign next to her car indicates she could park there. (Raini Barrett)

Barrett, who lives near the intersection, said she has seen about a dozen tickets issued there in the past month alone

"Just this morning, someone had a ticket for parking within three metres of a crosswalk," she said Tuesday.

While CBC News was in the area, Emery De Roo parked his pickup truck near the parking sign. He was careful not to park it too close to the crosswalk, as he had received a ticket for that in the past.

No matter what you do, you're going to get a ticket.- Raini   Barrett

De Roo said he had been parking farther back to avoid the crosswalk, not knowing he could get a ticket for parking in the intersection.

"I've been parking here for a little while so it would be a bit of a wake-up if I got a ticket one day. I'd definitely be mad about it," he said.

"It would be nicer if a lot of the streets were marked better for where you can and can't park. I'm sure there'd be less fines because of it."

Emery De Roo says he has received a ticket for parking too close to the crosswalk, but he didn't know that parking farther back could also land him a ticket for parking in an intersection. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

City open to reporting of improper signs

The City of Winnipeg says drivers can call 311 if they have concerns about improper signage, which the city may review to ensure it is meeting signage standards.

As well, parking enforcement officers are instructed to report situations where signage may be damaged or missing.

As for deciding how and where the signs are placed, the city says it follows the requirements outlined by provincial regulations set out in the Highway Traffic Act under the Traffic Control Devices Order.

Barrett says she's never called 311 to complain about the signage and she doesn't think the city would do anything about it.

"I'm still waiting regarding some of my other calls I have with the city," Barrett said. "To me, I get discouraged when I have to wait like nine months to hear from them."

Barrett said she paid the fine for one of her tickets but has plans to fight the other one. That ticket was issued in September 2015 and her court date is set for April 2017 — a wait time that Barrett calls "absurd."

She said most people likely just pay the fine and don't go to the trouble of fighting it.
Barrett says she thinks most people just pay their tickets because fighting them would be too much of a hassle. In addition to having the signage changed, she wants the city to reimburse drivers for the fines they have paid. (Holly Caruk/CBC)

"It's a pain in the butt to have to take time off work to go down and fight the ticket, so I think most people pay and it's probably a big money grab for the city," she said.

Barrett said while she hopes the signage gets changed, she would like to see the city reimburse people who have paid these tickets. She wants people to speak out in hopes that the city will notice.

"I'm hoping that neighbours and community members everywhere will start talking about it," she said. "If we speak, then maybe we will be heard."

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