Revised parking budget OK'd

Motorists who find it safer to back into parking stalls will also find it financially safe once city-run parkades and lots adopt ParkPlus machines.
Calgary Parking Authority got approval for its revised budget after officials assured council that users won't be ticketed for parking with their licence plates against the wall and away from detection by the camera-equipped enforcement vehicles.
The parkades and lots will still need staff to do checks for safety and cleanliness, and they'll help check to see if parkers have paid.
"They're going to physically walk around the vehicle and check the licence plates," said Larry Ryder, the parking authority's chairman.
After a public-relations bruising, the agency ripped up hundreds of tickets it gave out last year to drivers in transit park-and-ride lots who didn't park nose-in to the stalls.
The same technology has replaced downtown parking meters.
The authority released a poll last fall saying 75 per cent of ParkPlus users are satisfied with the machines. But they have their share of detractors.
"I just prefer if you put money into a meter. I've had a couple calls from people who've gotten tickets from wandering or even trying to find a meter," said Ald. Ray Jones.
He was one of two aldermen who voted against the authority's revised 2010-11 budget, which estimates the transition to ParkPlus lots will cut costs by $1.1 million over two years.
The authority will also hike fines for tickets that go unpaid after 30 days, and for illegal parking in handicapped spaces. Council had rejected the agency's earlier budget, which suggested an end to free parking on Sundays and evenings.
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