Theresa Delaney found out the hard way that parking in at least one South Surrey shopping district does not favour same-day-return visitors.
And she and her husband agree it’s a problem not solved by the “one time courtesy” cancellation of the parking ticket she received earlier this month.
The Morgan Creek resident figures she’d been parked for maybe 20 minutes outside of Thrifty Foods, located in Morgan Crossing, on Feb. 5 when she returned to her car to find a violation ticket from WestPark. Complete with the comment “4 hours of parking allowed, only” note under the ‘Details of infraction’ heading, it demanded payment of $25 within 10 days, or the fine would increase to $40.
Delaney is certain she came nowhere near the time limit, let alone exceeded it.
But in arguing the ticket, she says she’s discovered the system of tracking visitors is lacking – and, without a fix, another ticket is most likely in her future, not to mention that of anyone else frequenting the shopping district.
“I’m here all the time,” she said.
According to an email to Delaney from WestPark guest services, parking at the site is monitored by licence-plate recognition, with plates automatically scanned as vehicles enter and exit the lot.
“Free parking can only be use (sic) in every 24 hours,” the email states.
“It doesn’t accumulate your parking regardless of the time and duration in a same day.”
WestPark’s director of guest services Gillian Howden told Peace Arch News by email Wednesday (Feb. 13) that parking notices at the lot “can be issued for multiple reasons, not exclusively for going over the time limit.”
Howden would not comment on Delaney’s incident, other than to “confirm that the matter was resolved and the notice cancelled,” citing privacy.
She did note that parking is exclusive to customers visiting the Morgan Crossing businesses and that “patrons can visit multiple times per day, but must not exceed the 4 hour limit in any one visit.”
Delaney calculates that she parked for about two-and-a-half hours altogether, staggered over three visits between approximately 11:45 a.m. and 5 p.m., between which she not only returned home, but visited other areas in South Surrey.
Asked for further information about how parking time at the lot is tracked, if similar situations had occurred and if steps had been taken to prevent a repeat of what happened to Delaney, Howden did not immediately respond.
Jim Delaney said the enforcement his wife experienced “seems like a nuclear solution to a small problem.”
Unchecked, he predicted it will eventually drive customers away from Morgan Crossing businesses.
“It’s going to happen to quite a few people,” he said.
“If they want, we can go over to Superstore and shop there.”