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Oct. 25, 2021 | Monday
Local News
Service workers being ticketed
Around the old Parliament Oak school has been used by service workers for parking for decades. (Brittany Carter/Niagara Now)

Service industry employees in Niagara-on-the-Lake have complained of “unfair” parking tickets around now-closed Parliament Oak School, claiming they have parked in the same location for several years without incident.

Katherine Nagy, an employee of the LCBO on Queen Street, said she was “shocked” to find a $50 parking ticket after her shift on June 29.

“I have been parking there for a few years. I was actually shocked when I saw it, I almost missed it. I didn’t even notice (the sign). It’s a little tiny sign (on Centre Street) that says, ‘No stopping,’ “ Nagy said. 

In an email response, Marci Weston, an engineer technologist for the Town of NOTL, said it is the town’s understanding that the Maple Leaf Montessori School is still operating in the building.

Sharon Gleave, head of the Maple Leaf Montessori School, confirmed the school moved out of the Parliament Oak School building a year before it closed in 2015. It is now located at 430 King St.

Weston said that once Parliament Oak School closed, the school bus loading zones and school crossing signs were removed.

The parking prohibition signs were left at the request of the District School Board of Niagara, she said, noting that in addition to use of the sports fields, the schoolyard was also used as a short cut for pedestrians from the west accessing Memorial Park.

The parking prohibitions were not reviewed when the property “passed into private hands” to developer Liberty Sites in 2018, Weston said.

“We will undertake to do so in consultation with the new owner … In the meantime, we will assess the possibility of freeing up more parking spaces close to the King/Centre intersection and modify the signage if safe and feasible,” she said.

The town did not explain why cars are now being ticketed along Centre and Regent streets near the old school .

Tania Fera-VanGent, a part-time server at The Grill on King, said the signage is unclear and the ticket “makes no sense.”

“I was parked at the school at the ‘no-stop between 8 and 4.’ But I figured there’s no school, so how can there be a no-stop 8 and 4. There should be a no parking sign, if anything,” Fera-VanGent said.

The amount of the ticket, $50, led her to believe that it was out of concern for children’s safety. “But there’s no kids there because there’s no school anymore. So why would they be ticketing in that area?”

She said she plans to fight the ticket.

“The sign was unclear to me. I’m not an idiot. I wouldn’t have parked there if I knew I was going to get a ticket. I’m not trying to beat the system,” she said.

Weston said “No Parking” and “No Stopping” zones are clearly marked all around town, and the restrictions are in place for the purpose of public safety and should be respected at all times.