Manitoba

Winter parking tickets plow at least $1.5M into Winnipeg city coffers

Winnipeggers may hate winter parking in the city, with its five different parking bans. But winter parking tickets plow a pile of money as high as a snow dump into city coffers.
Winter parking tickets plow lots of money into the city's coffers. (Darren Bernhardt/CBC)

​Winnipeggers may hate winter parking in the city, with its five different parking bans. 

But winter parking tickets plow a pile of money as high as a snow dump into city coffers, at least $1.5 million last year alone.

According to a CBC News analysis of nearly half a million parking tickets issued by the Winnipeg Parking Authority last winter, 11,501 residents received a ticket of up to $100 for parking on a snow route.

Those tickets added up to at least $575,050 for city coffers, about nine per cent of total revenues in 2013 for the WPA. 

Tickets doled out during residential parking bans brought in over $1 million in fines last winter, an amount collected in just under 10 days that represents approximately 16 per cent of last year's total parking ticket revenues. 

Together, tickets last winter for on-street parking during a winter residential parking ban and for parking on a snow route represented approximately 25 per cent of the WPA's total revenue in 2013.

Poorest areas hit hardest

Last winter, the top three most ticketed major snow routes in Winnipeg were River Avenue (423), Stradbrook Avenue (293) and Edmonton Street (321). 

The city's parking data also reveals that the residential parking ban hits poorer neighbourhoods the hardest. 

Since 2012, the top 25 most ticketed streets when a ban is in effect are located in the West End or the North End, save for three streets. 

Last winter, 13,914 residents got dinged during a residential parking ban, with a fine of up to $150. 

60 hours, 5,000 tickets

The city said heavy snowfalls trigger a lot of activity. 

"In the span of a 60 hour period of a residential parking ban, we can write 5,000 tickets," said Colin Stewart, special operations manager for the Winnipeg Parking Authority. 

It's a necessary evil, said Stewart. 

"At that point our priority [is to] help public works get the streets clean as fast as possible. Because that's what the people want." 

Parking more difficult in older neighbourhoods: councillor

Mynarski Coun. Ross Eadie said higher density is the culprit. 

"People have more cars and motor vehicles than will fit in their back yards," he said. "And so a lot of them are using their front street for parking."

He said many lots in the core areas are just over seven metres (25 feet) wide, while newer developments normally have 15 metre (50 foot) lots.

Eadie also thinks that perhaps the city's "Know Your Zone" public service announcements don't necessarily reach his constituents to the same degree as those in other neighbourhoods