Indicating a need to better use space in downtown parkades, the Calgary Parking Authority is turning to a high-tech solution.
Over the next few months, officials plan to begin experimenting with automated cameras at entries of the Centennial parkade, which can be accessed from both 9th Avenue and 5th Street S.W.
As each vehicle enters the 1,000-stall facility, the camera will snap a picture of its license plate. Those images will be cross-referenced with the ParkPlus pay system to determine who paid and who didn’t ‘ violators would then receive notice of a fine in the mail.
“It will basically bring us to 100 per cent compliance,” McLeod said. “A virtual gate is probably the best way to describe it.”
Data gathered by the authority suggests anywhere from 3-5 per cent of parkade users avoid payment ‘ this can add up to hundreds of violators each day.
Maggie Schofield, executive director of the Calgary Downtown Association, believes the cameras will ensure better use of space in parkades for those headed to popular destinations in the core.
“People need to pay for the parking they have got down here,” she said. “We know it’s not the most pleasant experience but it’s really unfair to everybody else if people don’t.”
McLeod said if the pilot project goes well, the cameras will likely be installed at all parkades owned by the authority.