A recent visitor to Cobourg is unhappy that he received a parking ticket for overstaying at a meter on King Street. He spent “over $100” at one of the two “nice men’s clothing stores” and admits staying about 10 minutes longer than he paid for but says that although Cobourg “depends on tourist dollars for a good part of their economy”, it’s not doing everything possible to encourage tourism. He asks for 10 minutes grace. He perhaps did not notice that meters on King Street already give 15 minutes more than the hour that a loonie pays for. But when you think about it, that’s not a grace period – it’s just more time for your money. A “grace period” is when the meter says expired and you don’t get a ticket for a period of time.
Every December, the DBIA arranges for a genuine grace period of an hour – when the meter says expired, you won’t get a ticket for an hour. But that doesn’t apply the rest of the year.
Of course if you use the Honk Mobile app, you can remotely “feed the meter” but the unhappy visitor (David Little) seems to have used cash. The photo at right shows what the meters now look like.
But David goes on to say:
Have you considered, possibly, giving the owners of cars parked a bit too long a 10 minute period of grace? A nice note stating that the Downtown Business Association has added half an hour to your parking time might also give out of town shoppers the sense of being welcome.
People tend to treat others the way they themselves are treated. When we next drop one of our children or friends at the train station, we will probably drive to Port Hope for shopping and eating.
May I respectfully request that you examine the ways in which you treat visitors?
His letter is on the Agenda for the Council meeting on Monday, September 10 because he asked the mayor to share the note with Council. It’s unlikely that anything will change but the letter once again raises the subjects of Tourism and Parking.