Since January 1st, the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) has issued 3,284 tickets for parking illegally in spaces set aside for people with disabilities. For the past few years, there has been a steady increase in the number of tickets issued for this infraction, with 7,130 in 2012, 6,079 in 2011 and 6,010 in 2010.
“Although we typically see an increase in the number of these infractions during cold weather, the increasing trend over the past few years is a growing concern,” said Miles Dyck, CPA Manager of Parking Enforcement. “We want to ensure that accessible parking spaces are left for people with disabilities because they rely on them to access our city.”
The CPA is asking motorists to follow a few simple guidelines:
- Don’t risk parking in an accessible space, even for a few minutes.
- Look carefully for accessible parking signs to ensure you don’t mistakenly park in a designated stall; and
- When parked next to an accessible parking stall, ensure that no portion of your vehicle is parked over the line or impeding the use of that stall;
Since 1999, the CPA has worked to raise awareness about issues around parking in accessible spaces. Each year, it runs a month-long campaign from the end of November to December to educate Calgarians about the importance of leaving accessible stalls for those who need them.
Unauthorized parking in a designated stall is an infraction under the Calgary Traffic Bylaw Section 32(3). Vehicles parked in a designated parking space or accessible loading zone without displaying a valid permit can be ticketed. The fine for this infraction is $200 if paid within 10 days, $250 if paid within 30 days and $300 after 30 days.
Citizens are encouraged to report vehicles that are parked illegally in designated stalls to Enforcement Services by calling 403-537-7100, option 2. Each month the CPA typically receives about 90 requests from citizens reporting motorists parked illegally in accessible parking spaces.
The Calgary Parking Authority fulfills the City of Calgary’s parking mandates and implements the municipality’s parking policies by managing on and off-street public parking facilities, enforcement programs and by providing parking advisory services. Each year the CPA contributes a portion of its net revenue to the City. In 2012, CPA contributed $24M in revenue and $7M in municipal taxes to the City. In addition, the CPA spends $1M administering the residential parking permit program at no cost to taxpayers and operates parking enforcement services and the municipal impound lot on a break-even basis. The CPA operates without using any municipal tax revenues.