Municipal administration provided council with an update on the current paid parking pilot program at a committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 24.
One of the biggest challenges that administration has been facing is the lack of signs available for people to tap and pay.
“We have experienced a challenge, in that we had a number of signs go missing,” said CAO Bill Given.
“There has been some theft of signs and some vandalism, essentially destroying signs and tearing them off the posts.”
So far, administration has identified nine missing signs but was able to track down three of them.
Administration added that getting the signs replaced is taking much longer than expected, since some of the signs are specialized with a tag inside them that is used for the tap payment.
“The real challenge when a sign goes missing is frustration for our visitors,” Given said.
“People come and they want to comply. They’re generally okay with paying, but they can’t figure out where to pay, and they feel like if it’s a process that has a lot of friction, it leads to frustration.”
Administration says they would have a lot more signs in future years and they would have them tied down better.
As of Aug. 24, there have been 9,103 tap payments, up from 1,197 from the first week of paid parking; there have been 43 paid at the admin office, up from nine.
As well, 154 senior passes and 236 resident passes have been purchased, up from 87 and 166 respectively.
There have been 1,232 warnings issued with 12 tickets being given out in total.
Administration says it has been light-handed in enforcement of tickets and officers only issue a ticket when someone has been given ample opportunity to pay for parking.
The current net revenue is about $14,551. The net revenue number comes after all the expenses are paid.
The net revenue shows that the paid parking is paying for itself and then some.
The paid parking pilot program started on July 21 in the downtown core of Jasper.
It is in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for all of the two-hour, on-street parking stalls and costs $2 per hour.
The off-street parking and drop-off zones remain free of charge.
Administration also established a residential parking zone in a one-block radius that surrounds the pilot parking area.
All Jasper residents must register for a residential park pass to be able to park in those zones, which are also in effect from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Each resident gets two complimentary guests passes that come along with the resident’s pass.
Administration will come back next month with another update.
Ali Howat, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Jasper Fitzhugh