Langley council rejects new parking signs
June 22, 2011 · 11:14 AM
The signs are fine.
The fines are fine, too.
The Langley City Council said Monday it wasn’t ready to raise new signs to fix parking problems on Second Street, and also declined to hike the fines for people caught violating the city’s parking rules.
Council members, led by Councilwoman Rene Neff, have been trying without success to convince downtown workers who are clogging up spaces that could be used by shoppers to abide by the four-hour parking limit on the city’s main streets.
One possible solution has been new signs. Neff said signs that would expand the hours for four-hour parking from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. would require 23 signs at a cost of $313, which would not include installation.
Councilwoman Fran Abel, reading a memo from Police Chief Randy Heston, said too much enforcement wasn’t wanted because the city “loses money” on parking infractions. It could also sour visitors and tourists on the city.
“I believe that numerous warnings and occasional infractions better educates the citizens. This allows them to visit our fine city without having to worry about finding a $25 infraction on their windshield,” Abel said. “I would rather they pay that money to any one of our numerous fine merchants, and want to return next year.”
Residents also said that more restrictions weren’t needed.
“I think you’re going to drive a lot of customers away,” said Vance Tillman. “I’m surprised that four-hour parking isn’t driving them away now.”
“The worst thing any city in the country could do ... is look upon parking violations as a source of revenue,” Robert Crawford told the council.
The council said it didn’t want to expand the hours covered by the parking restrictions, or raise fines.
Instead, council members said they wanted the city to step up efforts to educate people about where long-term parking options exist in town.
“I’m beginning to sense the least that we can do, the better,” Councilman Bob Waterman said. “This problem has gotten magnified beyond what the actual problem really is.”
The next step will be clarifying the city code that parking for more than four hours on a downtown street is not allowed, with the hope that future enforcement efforts will be spent on repeat offenders.
The council will talk about an ordinance that would tighten up the parking rules at a future meeting.