Though it probably won’t rank amongst residents’ top concerns this Christmas, those with visitors joining them over the season will want to be mindful of overnight on-street parking bans in place, if only to avoid the toll.
Both Woolwich and Wellesley saw a modest uptick of tickets being issued since bans were put in place.
In Wellesley Township, 56 tickets were handed out for on-street parking in the first month since the ban came into effect in November. In Woolwich Township, by contrast, which enacted its own ban a month after Wellesley, 40 tickets were issued in the first week of December alone.
“Before the overnight parking ban went into effect, the township put ads in the Observer, our website and social media, and bylaw enforcement officer issued approximately 100 courtesy notices to drivers that were parked overnight,” said Woolwich deputy clerk Jeff Smith.
At $20 apiece, plus any additional late fees or court costs that may arise, that’s a total of at least $800-worth of fines issued in seven days in Woolwich, versus $1,120 in Wellesley over a month.
“The cost of paying a parking ticket can increase with court costs or late fees if drivers wait too long,” said Smith. “We recommend paying a parking ticket as soon as possible to avoid extra fees.”
Overnight on-street parking bans are enforced throughout the Region of Waterloo during the winter months, though with some variation as each municipality tackles the issue in its own way.
In Wellesley, for instance, the ban runs for two months longer than the other Waterloo municipalities, starting on November 1 and running until the last day of April, and runs for seven days a week, from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.
In Woolwich, the prohibition runs from December 1 to March 31, more in line with the other municipalities. But unlike the others, the hours of enforcement start and end later in the morning, from 4 a.m. and 9 a.m.
At the same time all regional roads in the townships, such as Ament Line, Herrgott Road. and Weimar Line. in Wellesley, and Sawmill Road. and Arthur Street in Woolwich, have year-round bans on parking between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.
In the townships, parking rules are typically invigilated by bylaw enforcement officers, with some assistance coming from the Waterloo Regional Police Service (WRPS) and other outside workers.
“Bylaw enforcement officers patrol the streets at night, as do WRPS officers,” said Smith. “However police treat overnight parking as a lower priority than their emergency calls. Public works staff also have authority to ticket and do so when they are inspecting road conditions ahead of the plows.”
“WRPS may assist but that is rarely the case,” noted Todd Loveday, bylaw enforcement officer for Wellesley Township. “The township bylaw officer tours the entire township handing ot tickets on vehicles that are found parked on the streets between 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m.”
The City of Waterloo, meanwhile, prohibits on-street parking at night year-round as well, but allows vehicles to apply for up to 15 free overnight parking permits a year. However, the permits are voided if a snow event is declared by the city.
With a bit of planning and arranging parking ahead of time, residents can enjoy a ticket-free Christmas week no matter where they live, officials note.