I read the recent article regarding charging a parking fee for electric vehicles and came away a bit perplexed [City of Powell River Council votes for fees to charge electric vehicles,” January 17]. While the goal is admirable: keeping the spots available, the city’s solution is at best misdirected.
While I agree electric vehicles remaining in the spot longer than needed may be a problem, charging a fee, which would only be collected while the vehicle is plugged in and therefore really only targets people who are actually charging their expensive, planet-saving, environmentally friendly vehicles, these are the wrong people to target.
The people to target are, one, electric-vehicle owners who leave their car there after it’s finished charging, or never actually plug it in at all, and two, gas-powered vehicle owners who use it as a convenient available parking spot, and since they don’t plug in at all safely avoid your parking fee.
A lot of the issue with the first group could be alleviated by posting a sign explaining the proper etiquette for using a charging station. This will remind responsible electric-vehicle owners to move their car once charged without adding another fee to their already expensive environmental statement.
The others, irresponsible electric vehicle owners, gas-powered parking space users and the five-ton delivery truck I saw in the Powell River Public Library charging spot could all be solved with some basis old technology: a parking ticket.
I’ve never actually seen one since moving to Powell River but they can be an effective deterrent to bad behaviour. I did live in Calgary, where they are used very effectively to incentivize behaviour and also raise a lot of money. No wonder their taxes are so low.
Ticket the “bad” apples. A $30 or $40 ticket for illegally parking in a charging station would incentivize their behaviour fairly quickly, and would not punish people making a fairly expensive choice to try and make our world a bit better.
Ernest Burden, Marine Avenue