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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 03-29-2014, 03:22 PM   #1
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Parking meters in Vancouver

Don't really know if this belongs here... just a quick rant about the City of Vancouver and their parking regulations... I'm sure others have noticed this as well....

When you park at a meter, you have two options for payment, you can either plug the meter with change for the desired amount of time you wish to park (up to 2hrs in most places) or use the paybyphone feature. If you use the paybyphone, you must enter the license plate of the vehicle you are parking in the space. If you are simply putting change in the meter, that's all you have to do...

Recently I parked at a meter and used the paybyphone method. I paid for for an hour of parking, came back to my car in about 45 minutes and found a ticket on my windshield. Ticket said that the parking space was not paid for. I immediately called the number on the back on the ticket and told them I had paid for the space by phone. They looked up the ticket, and it turns out that the license plate number I put into the phone was off by 1 letter, so it was different from my actual license plate. The lady told me that she would void the ticket, this ONE time, as a courtesy. She told me that next time, if my license plate is wrong, I will have to pay the ticket.

So now I'm sitting here thinking, why on earth does it matter if my license plate was correct or not. The SPACE itself was clearly paid for. Someone could plug the meter with change for 2 hours, leave after 30 mins, and two or three more cars can park in that same space in the next 1.5 hours without having to plug the meter.

But, if the first person used the paybyphone feature, paid for 2 hours and left after 30 mins, the next people would never know that the space was paid for, which would mean they have to pay for the same space again, maybe by change or maybe by paybyphone. So technically, the City of Vancouver can charge for a lot more time for a single space than what's actually being used, "double dipping" if you will.

I had a look at the parking bylaw's on the city's website and was not able to find anything about paybyphone regulations. It would seem to me that the City is overcharging its own citizens for parking. An obvious solution would be for the meter to display the time that's paid for, either with change or by paybyphone. I don't know if meters have that capability, I'm sure the newer ones that take credit cards do... Then if a person pays for two hours of parking time and leave sooner, the next person wouldn’t have to double pay for that same space.

What do others think about this issue? Does anyone else care or am I being a cheap hippy?
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:29 PM   #2
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Do you want to pay for the upgrades to the old machines so it can display this information?
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:36 PM   #3
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The city just wants to make as much money off of people as possible so that they can spend it on bicycle lanes for cheap hippies.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:37 PM   #4
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Why does it matter? Well..it doesn't..except for the part that the city can now get double or triple revenue. Just like at Stanley park. Your ticket on the dash was good for however long you paid. Now, it's connected to your plate.

A system will never change for the users benefit.
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:46 PM   #5
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thats just businesses trying to suck as much money as possible, just like phone companies and the whole galore
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Old 03-29-2014, 03:54 PM   #6
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The same issue can be said for privately managed lots (eg. Impark, Diamond, etc.) where you pay for spot X at the machine, rather than placing a ticket on your vehicle's dash.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:07 PM   #7
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The lesson to be learned here is pay the meter not by phone...

In other news I parked at a meter about 2 weeks ago, I parked just before 7:30PM, at this particular meter you are allowed to stay for 4 hours. Paid the meter like 12 bucks or w/e and it was good until 9:51PM (meter is free after 10). I had no more change on me. I walked away thinking it would have to be a real asshole to ticket me in that 9 minute period.

Come back to the car and sure enough at 9:56 there was a ticket issued. Phoned in and they said they would not cancel it.

The moral of my story above in addition to the lesson learned from the OP, is that the city doesn't give a single fuck.
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Old 03-29-2014, 04:09 PM   #8
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More cities(nwest, coq, richmond) are leaning towards pay by plate only. Only a select few(van, bby etc) still use individual parking meters.
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Old 03-29-2014, 05:23 PM   #9
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Do you want to pay for the upgrades to the old machines so it can display this information?
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The meters don't really even have to display the time that's paid for by phone. It could be a simple change in the paybyphone system, when the next person calls in to pay for the spot, the system would tell them that the spot is paid for already and only start charging them after the time expires...
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Old 03-29-2014, 07:31 PM   #10
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That would be up to the folks over at Paybyphone and nothing to do with the city who subscribes to their services
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Old 03-29-2014, 08:37 PM   #11
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The city is double dipping.
The same parking space is rented out to several motorists at the same time.

If I owned an apartment and rented it out to Mr A then rented it out to Mr B while Mr A was away I'd be done for fraud.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:37 AM   #12
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So now I'm sitting here thinking, why on earth does it matter if my license plate was correct or not

Simple explanation.
When the bylaw officer enters the plate on your vehicle into their handheld, it will not show up as paid b/c the plate that you entered on pay by phone is different.
The bylaw officer is going by the information that is front of them.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:40 AM   #13
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The meters don't really even have to display the time that's paid for by phone. It could be a simple change in the paybyphone system, when the next person calls in to pay for the spot, the system would tell them that the spot is paid for already and only start charging them after the time expires...
I can't remember what US state it is but they have a system where there are sensors in the ground that zero the meter once the car leaves the spot.
That way no one gets left over time from the previous occupant if they paid by coins.
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Old 03-30-2014, 11:41 AM   #14
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So now I'm sitting here thinking, why on earth does it matter if my license plate was correct or not

Simple explanation.
When the bylaw officer enters the plate on your vehicle into their handheld, it will not show up as paid b/c the plate that you entered on pay by phone is different.
The bylaw officer is going by the information that is front of them.


I get that, but the spot itself is paid for, since I had to enter the meter number as well. So why does it matter if the license plate is correct
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Old 03-30-2014, 01:13 PM   #15
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Logically you are right. But logic and good will doesn't make money. Simple as that
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:23 PM   #16
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Doesn't bother me personally. I still only use PBP and pretty much always refuse to pay cash. I never run into situations either where I paid for 2hrs and ended up leaving in 30. That's the beauty of PBP isn't it, I typically underpay and if I need more time I just keep adding via the app.

In your example, I get it, I'm not saying it doesn't suck but it doesn't bother me at all.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:33 PM   #17
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What do others think about this issue? Does anyone else care or am I being a cheap hippy?
I think this forum really needs a FAIL button.
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Old 03-30-2014, 02:50 PM   #18
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More cities(nwest, coq, richmond) are leaning towards pay by plate only. Only a select few(van, bby etc) still use individual parking meters.
I think White Rock is still "pay by stall number"

I usually try to add minutes before buying time, just to see if there's any left.
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Old 03-31-2014, 03:55 PM   #19
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At least you only have to enter your plate once. You get it right and then the next time you won't have to worry about it. I find the pay by phone very useful. When I go to my dentist, I get there at 830 but don't need to pay till 9. I just call while in the dentist's chair to pay for my parking at 900 and don't have to worry about running down to pay for parking.

Also, the city doesn't maintain the meters much. I was downtown and the first 2 meters I tried ate my coins and didn't register. I called the city and they told me I can pick up the $2 at city hall. It would have cost me more to get my lost money so I just left it. I always pay by phone now. The best part is in Vancouver, they don't charge you the fee anymore at least. Don't know about Richmond, but the last time I was there, they did charge a 75 cent fee.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:25 PM   #20
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I talked to the meter maintenance guys and they told me that the meters get jammed faster than they can fix them. Plus it doesn't help that the city does not schedule as many staff as they used to. Apparently they reduced the number of staff working despite there being more than enough work to be done.
So instead of having enough staff working and only taking a day or two to get to a broken meter once it is reported, it now takes at least a few days up to a week to get to a newly reported broken meter.
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Old 03-31-2014, 05:38 PM   #21
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When I go to my dentist, I get there at 830 but don't need to pay till 9. I just call while in the dentist's chair to pay for my parking at 900 and don't have to worry about running down to pay for parking.
Better yet, the PBP is smart - if you fire it up at 8:30 and tell it you want to park for 2 hours (until 10:30), it will deduct the time before 9:00 from the cost - like if it's $1/hr., it will tell you right there you're only paying $1.50. If you were to plug the meter, you'd have to pump in the full $2.
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Old 04-02-2014, 08:58 AM   #22
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Better yet, the PBP is smart - if you fire it up at 8:30 and tell it you want to park for 2 hours (until 10:30), it will deduct the time before 9:00 from the cost - like if it's $1/hr., it will tell you right there you're only paying $1.50. If you were to plug the meter, you'd have to pump in the full $2.
I've actually never tried that with the Vancouver ones. I should try that next time and see what it says.
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:24 AM   #23
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Why on earth do we even have to pay for city parking anyways?
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Old 04-02-2014, 09:33 AM   #24
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Why on earth do we even have to pay for city parking anyways?
Well if nothing else it helps ensure more people get a fair shot at the limited number of spaces. If it were free and unlimited, all the street parking would fill up at 7am and nobody would move until 6pm.

As it is, I've spent 15+ minutes (really! I was watching the clock!) circling and circling blocks by Coal Harbour to find an open space for my work van within a reasonable distance of my work site. My van is too tall for pretty much all underground parking, and the company won't spring for commercial plates, so I'm limited to regular street parking spaces, and when I have to haul gear to site, I can't be parking 10 blocks away.
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Old 04-02-2014, 11:25 AM   #25
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So put up XX hr maximum signs. If the ticket people need the meters to keep track of the time a car has been there just make it so you swipe your license to start the timer.
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