Parking enforcement officers suffer the wrath after tickets handed out in Northcrest Arena, Evinrude Centre areas

A vehicle with a ticket for violating the city’s winter parking bylaw is seen on February 6, 2014.

Insults, cigarette butts and even spit was directed at parking enforcement officers who handed out 27 tickets during this past weekend’s Peterborough Liftlock Atom Hockey Tournament, a city official said Tuesday.

Public reaction to bylaw infractions at the Evinrude Centre and on Marina Boulevard near Northcrest Arena was “disappointing,” city parking operations coordinator Lynn Todd said after many spoke out about the tickets.

She understands the frustration, but pointed out that the department welcomes dialogue with those who received tickets.

“It’s unfortunate how the message was brought back to us,” she said, referring to reactions posted on social media earlier this week. “We are happy to have discussions with those who had a ticket issued to them.”

Most of the tickets ranged from $25 to $30 for parking in posted No Parking zones or for parking on the wrong side of Marina. Areas there were posted to ensure safety and an even flow of traffic, Todd said.

In many cases, those ticketed wouldn’t have been fined if they parked on the correct side of the street, she said, adding visitors could have respected those who live in the area by not parking on the narrow strips between the sidewalk and street.

“They need that visibility to get out of their driveways,” Todd said.

At the Evinrude Centre, most infractions were related to parking in areas designated for specific purposes, such as fire access.

Tickets for parking in accessible parking areas without a permit can result in a fine of as much as $300, but Todd wasn’t sure if any tickets were issued for that.

Tickets were not issued at the tournament’s other venues, the Peterborough Memorial Centre and Kinsmen Arena, she added.

Several people voiced concerns about ticketing visitors from out-of-town who took part in the tournament and spent money on food and accommodations in Peterborough.

Steve Barnes, who said he spoke with several upset parents, emailed The Examiner, calling it a “disgrace” that outsiders were made to pay.

Others took to Twitter to share their feelings.

“Welcome to Peterborough! Here is our crappy arena with not enough parking. Oh ya, here is your parking ticket! Way to go Peterborough, stupidity at its finest. Seriously,” Selwyn realtor and volunteer firefighter Brad Sinclair wrote Sunday on Twitter.

“Ticketing people that can’t fit in the north crest (sic) parking lot for the liftlock atom tournament that is bringing you a ton of money this weekend!? Absolute joke and you should be ashamed. No one blocking fire exits or traffic or anything,” Jackie Burfield posted.

The city responded on the platform, writing “Parking for large scale events is a challenge, however, it is imperative that safe flow of traffic on streets and access to facilities is maintained, especially for emergency vehicles.”

At the end of the day, the rules apply to everyone equally, Todd said, adding that signs made the regulations clear. “We’re just following our bylaws.”

For more information or to speak with a parking official, call the Peterborough parking division at 705-742-777 ext. 2802.

Source: The Peterborough Examiner