Dozens of Winnipeggers hit with parking tickets downtown this month have received a late holiday gift from the city, although in addition to quashing their tickets some say what they’d really like is clarity.
The Winnipeg Parking Authority said in a statement Wednesday it will refund parking tickets handed out downtown on Saturdays between Dec. 2 and Dec. 23, 2017. From now on, the parking authority will not issue tickets within the first two hours of downtown on-street parking between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. CT on Saturdays, excluding hospital zones.
The city said anyone who received a ticket should call 311 with their ticket number to begin the cancellation process.
“I think they should definitely reverse everyone’s tickets regardless of the appeals process,” said Jeremy Clemens-Mierau, one of more than 80 drivers ticketed for parking in the area in December.
Confusion stemmed from a sticker on all downtown parking meters that says “2 hours complimentary on Saturday.”
Clemens-Mierau took issue with being ticketed, citing a discrepancy between the payment rules posted on downtown parking meters and a bylaw the city says has been on the books for a decade.
“Some communication would be nice,” said Clemens-Mierau.
“The machine said, ‘Two hours complimentary,’ so this sort of interpretation of, ‘Well, complimentary means complimentary after you’ve paid,’ seemed like I should be able to argue that.”
A City of Winnipeg spokesperson told CBC News in an emailed statement that the two-hour complimentary parking on Saturday applied after “maximum on-street paid parking is purchased.”
That policy has been in place for more than 10 years and was continued after a report in 2012, city officials said.
“Earlier this year, it was brought to the WPA’s attention that some members of the public found the information…