Thursday, March 29, 2001

Downtown parking treat

Times Colonist (Victoria)
I and my family had stopped shopping downtown years ago and wondered why. However the answer came a couple of days ago when I had reason to be downtown in order to attend a meeting.

Luck was with me as I pulled up to the curb and found a meter with 10 minutes left on it. Unfortunately, although I had plenty of nickels and dimes in my pocket and a couple of toonies, I had no loonie and only one quarter. I inserted the quarter which brought the parking meter up to 25 minutes.

I noticed a commissionaire walking by. I smiled as I assumed they made their rounds down a given street about once an hour. So half an hour later I returned to my car and found that a parking ticket greeting me on my windshield.

By my calculations I had been ticketed two minutes after the meter expired and three minutes before I returned to my vehicle. I marvelled at the hyper-vigilance of Victoria's commissionaires.

I then smiled, not because I am a glutton for punishment, but because I serve as a member of Langford's planning and zoning committee.

With downtown Victoria's breathtakingly efficient ticketing service I was reminded about why more and more shoppers and retailers are abandoning the downtown core in order to move out to the Western Communities.

As I drove down the road I spotted the commissionaire that I had given me my ticket. I honked my horn and yelled, ``Keep up the good work.'' He ignored me but I feel it always best to be pleasant. After all, although it is unlikely, I might run into him again, when I am shopping ... at the mall.