Confusion over parking ban on Whyte, Jasper Ave. during Oilers playoff games
During the playoffs, certain Edmonton streets have been placed under a parking ban on game nights – but it appears those bans are still a source of confusion for some drivers, who have been able to pay for parking in those spots.
On Thursday night, Candace Elliott drove to Jasper Avenue and 104 Street to have dinner, before going to the game at Rogers Place.
Elliott managed to find a spot to park her SUV on Jasper Avenue, and said she didn’t see signs about the parking ban in place on two major roadways during playoff games. The closest sign to where she parked was behind her vehicle, and the nearest parking meter was covered.
“The parking meter was way down on that end and it had a bag over it, so I thought ‘Okay it must be out of order’,” Elliot said.
She walked to an EPark machine around the corner; the unit she used to pay for parking was not covered and allowed her to pay for two hours and 30 minutes.
“I was a little mad I guess, it didn’t tell me not to park there, so I figured I’m good, I paid, my credit card went through, I thought I was good until 7:30 p.m.,” Elliott said.
It appears other drivers weren’t aware of the parking ban either – as once it went into effect, there was a commotion in the restaurant.
“Halfway through dinner, people were yelling: ‘If you parked on Jasper Ave. get out there, they’re towing’ so we ran out, my car was just about to be on the tow truck,” Elliott said.
The parking ban is in effect starting at 6 p.m. until midnight, during all home and away games of the Oilers playoff run – it impacts Whyte Avenue between Gateway Boulevard and 109 Street, and Jasper Avenue between 100 Street and 109 Street.
Under the ban, no stopping or parking is permitted on the impacted roadways while it is in place.
However, it appears EPark meters and the app still allow drivers to pay for parking on those roadways – a CTV News producer tested the system, and found the app accepted payment for parking in a no stopping zone.
“Responsibility’s with the driver before walking away from their parked vehicle,” Erin Blaine, with Parking Enforcement Services said.
The city said “extensive technical reconfiguration” would be needed to update the machines and the app, and said the playoffs are unpredictable, so the department hasn’t had time to finish that work.
The department said it takes other measures to keep drivers from parking on those roads.
“There’s tons of signage and the EPark machines hooded,” Blaine said.
“The amount of uniformed officers, we had 20 to 30 ambassadors deferring people from parking to begin with.”
Meanwhile, the owner of The Hat Resto and Pub on Jasper Avenue said he’s concerned the parking ban could have an impact on his business.
“The guests were talking about ‘Hey we have to walk, we didn’t know where to park and everybody jacked up the prices’, this is another concern,” Mike Bhatnaga said.
As for Elliott, she said the price of the ticket -- $50 -- is small compared to the cost to get her car back if it had been towed.
With files from Angela Jung