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Too Many Cars, Too Few Parking Spots

At the time of writing, Black Friday 2017 is history, which means the crazy shopping season is well underway, and which means jam-packed parking anywhere in or near a mall parkade or a shop-lined street.  From shop opening to closing time available parking stalls dematerialize.  But hope springs eternal: patience, a keen eye, the possibility of a seasonal work-around, arm you for the fray.

But let us consider parking workarounds.  In mall parkades, clearly marked ‘no parking’ spaces aside loading doors are tempting.  Clearly marked handicapped spaces are prime parking real estate, but they are now well established ‘no go’ zones—unless of course your vehicle is properly so designated.  End-of-the row triangles must be irresistible to sub-sub-compacts.  And then there is double parking, surely a work-around of a whole different order.

MVA about double parking

In British Columbia double parking is briefly addressed in the BC Motor Vehicle Act—“a person must not … park a vehicle …on the roadway side of a vehicle stopped or parked at the edge or curb of a roadway.”  But the ‘offence’ as such is not listed in the chart of fines and points for BC traffic offences.  Presumably double parkers are quickly dealt with by the police on roadways, and by private towing firms in shopping mall parking lots.  Indeed, in mall parkades private towing firms will quickly undo most workarounds.

Different countries, different regulations

In Israel, however, double parking may soon become a criminal offense.  Israel National News reports that on Monday November 20th, the Knesset, the national legislature of Israel approved the first reading of a bill criminalizing ‘double parking,’ that is parking a vehicle in front of another parked vehicle in such a way as to block the other car from leaving a designated parking space.

The Israeli report says, “The bill, … seeks to amend existing laws so that police are granted explicit authority to take action against drivers who park their cars in a way that blocks other vehicles parking in properly designated spaces, whether in a public parking area or a private parking area for multiple residences.”

Parking spots at malls

Think twice

The report quotes the text of the bill as follows:  “Existing traffic laws regulate the movement of vehicles, parking and pedestrian traffic.  The provisions of the law do not currently grant clear enforcement powers to municipal police officers and inspectors for parking lots in shared buildings.  As a result, occupants who encounter a parked vehicle that is not in accordance with existing traffic regulations, in a manner that is not safe, that may endanger pedestrians or vehicles, [are powerless to deal with] the safety nuisance.

One of the representatives spearheading the bill was quoted as saying, “We cannot have a situation wherein a person who parks in a designated space can be blocked by another car and have no recourse, with police officers unable to act [against the offender].  Everyone who has had the experience before of having to wait two or three hours for the one who blocked you understands this.  Anyone who gets a ticket [for this offense] will think twice before doing it again.”

Road Rules by Cedric Hughes and Leslie McGuffin

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