The photo above and article below were originally published in the Powell River News on November 6, 1969.
Don’t want meters on Marine, store owners tell council
One lone businessman, from a group of 29 Alberni-Marine store owners, raised his hand before council Monday night when mayor Jim Court asked: Who is in favor of parking meters along Marine?
Several weeks ago, following a request by Alberni-Marine store owners for better policing of existing one-hour parking limits, council discussed the probability of installing meters. Most aldermen seemed to favour the idea. Following publication of the story in the News, store owners asked for a meeting with council. Monday night council suggested and most store owners agreed, most serious violations for overtime parking were committed by some businessmen on Marine.
“They play a cat-and-mouse game with the man with the chalk (bylaw inspector),” said alderman Norm Hill.
No sooner are chalk marks put on than the violators come out and move their cars, he said.
Mayor Court added that at least one violator had told the bylaw inspector he found it cheaper to pay the parking fine than seek parking space elsewhere.
G. Turner replied, “Then enlist the help of the likes of me.”
He said he’d tell the police or the bylaw inspector, and the man responsible, if he saw anybody playing the “cat-and-mouse” game with the bylaw inspector.
H. Bowes added, he too, would willingly help to see that the existing one-hour parking limit was enforced.
In reply to a suggestion from council that revenue from parking meters would be used to purchase off-street parking, Jack Embree argued that in Nanaimo they had found parking meters cost the city money: “They were forced to hire two men to patrol the meters then another two to process the summonses.”
H. Hindle pointed out that in New Westminster the parking meters had been taken out on 6th Avenue. “I spoke to several store owners and they are most happy they were taken out.” Businessmen purchased land behind stores to be used for off-street parking, he said.
Alberni-Marine store owners expressed a general opinion there would be a loss of business to them if meters were installed. They said shoppers would pick the large shopping plazas instead.
When alderman Grey said the bylaw inspector had made only $92 last month from hanging tags, the store owners replied that two or three times as much revenue could be collected. They urged that the municipality hire someone to tag, and if necessary tow away, offending cars.
If a man is hired both council and store owners agreed that his hours and days of work be staggered so motorists would not be able to plan ahead of time when to avoid him.
Alderman Joe Cummings suggested that the News publish the names of offenders as a deterrent.
The lone dissenter in the group, Doug Harris, smiled when he rose to speak briefly in favour of parking meters.
“If it’s any consolation to you gentlemen,” he said, “my wife is against them.”