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Aug. 15, 2020 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
$25 ticket after Old Town parking meters reject coins
Many of the Niagara-on-the-Lake parking meters do not accept newly minted loonie or toonie coins, resident says. (Brittany Carter/File photo)

The following is a letter to Lord Mayor Betty Disero and Coun. Wendy Cheropita. A  copy was submitted to The Lake Report for publication.

This is to make you and council aware of a serious parking problem you may not know about.

Many of the Niagara-on-the-Lake parking meters do not accept newly minted loonie or toonie coins! This is similar to a problem Toronto has had with meters and newspaper boxes.

After getting another ticket we went to NOTL Town Hall to fill in a three-page questionnaire in order to get a face-to-face meeting.

I am sure very few people would bother going to this trouble for a $25 fine. Many of our friends have experienced this problem, including one night when we tried two meters a block apart in front of Zee’s on Queen Street.

We do not use our credit cards in these as we had one “eaten” by the machine.

After having a few delayed meetings with the town on this, we finally got a call back in which the officer did not acknowledge the problem, suggested buying a resident parking card (good for one hour!) or call the telephone number on the box!

And, after all our effort, the officer simply said pay the fine – in spite of all this being explained in the three-page request form.

We can only imagine the number of visitors, in particular, who encountered this problem and had neither time nor would go to the trouble of fighting it. Not what you’d expect in NOTL. Meter revenue is great, but only if it works.

As an aside, friends of ours who visited could not find parking anywhere near town after driving up and down streets. So, they left.

Visitors are overwhelming us and we suspect the limitless buses are a big factor.

Lesley Golombek and John Duncan