A single block of Carnarvon Street generated about 1,600 parking tickets between 2006 and 2012.
The volume of bylaw tickets in the 400 block of Carnarvon Street prompted residents to take their concerns to council in August, and again in October.
"Of the 1,600, approximately 670 were written on the south side of 400 block Carnarvon Street for parking too close to a driveway," stated a staff report. "This constitutes 10 per cent of the tickets written for this bylaw infraction when compared to the rest of the city."
Carnarvon Street resident Douglas Whicker told council that the area where the 670 tickets have been written is only about 110 metres in length. He said some area residents think Carnarvon Street is being "singled out and hit extremely hard" for parking violations.
"When you have got over $100,000 worth of tickets in five-and-a-half years, that is pretty dramatic," he said. "We were getting a phenomenal amount of tickets."
Whicker said another area resident filed a freedom of information request, which revealed the number of tickets that had been issued in the block in the past few years.
"That was an awful lot of tickets," he said. "That is why we were complaining."
Whicker said residents have volunteered to paint the curb near the driveway so it's clearly marked where motorists cannot park, but they've been told that's prohibited by city bylaws.
A staff report stated that parking has
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The city's street traffic bylaw states that no person shall stop or park on a street within 1.5 metres of either side of a public driveway.
The Oct. 15 staff report proposed an amendment to the street traffic bylaw to help clarify the current regulations.
The proposed amendment would state that no person shall stop or park a vehicle on a street within 1.5 metres (five feet) of a public or private driveway, measured from the top of flare or the widest points of the driveway.
Coun. Bill Harper said the bylaw infractions in the neighbourhood seemed to be very high. Although the city doesn't generally paint curbs to indicate driveway
clearances, he said he'd like the city to paint so residents know where they can park legally.
"I think people should understand and be able to physically see whether they are going to be ticketed or not," he said.
The staff report stated that the city has not marked driveway clearances in yellow paint for more than 20 years, as it's high maintenance, costly and not esthetically pleasing.
The report noted that some curbs in the city are painted yellow, but they were done informally by private citizens and not the city.
Coun. Chuck Puchmayr said he'd also like to see the curbs painted in areas with a significant number of violations to clarify where motorists are legally permitted to park.
He said council was as puzzled as residents about the volume of tickets in that one-block area.
Sukh Maghera, the city's coordinator of parking and animal services, said staff is recommending that the painting be done on the road instead of the curb. Instead of painting the curb yellow, the prohibited area would be identified with a painted triangle on the road.
"That prevents people from parking there," he said.
Coun. Jaimie McEvoy said the driveway clearance regulations are in place to protect public safety, not to generate traffic fine revenue for the city.
"We need to educate people," said Coun. Betty McIntosh, who has seen curbs painted in other B.C. communities. "It seems that people are just not understanding driveways need to have access."
Coun. Jonathan Cote thanked Carnarvon Street residents for making council aware of the issue and of the high number of parking tickets being issued in the area.
"Clearly people are not understanding what the rules are," he said. "I can understand that if there is no paint."
Whicker is pleased with the city's decision to paint the road.
"Once the lines are marked, if people are parking there, they will know if they are parked illegally. That will make me happy," he said. "That is half the battle."
The other battle, said Whicker, is to ensure the bylaw is applied consistently throughout the city. Carnarvon Street residents have seen other areas of the city where the driveway restrictions don't seem to be enforced with the same vigor as they've been monitored on Carnarvon Street.
"One of the principles of bylaws is administrative fairness," Whicker said. "There is nothing in the bylaw that says it applies to certain zones. This bylaw says it applies everywhere in the city. They have to enforce it everywhere. I am saying they are not."
If the driveway restrictions are intended to ensure safety, Whicker said they should be applied uniformly across the city.
"We are going to be watching," he said.