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Councillor pitches pre-paid parking to curb drunk driving 0

Jeremy Nuttall

By Jeremy Nuttall, 24 hours Vancouver



A Vancouver councillor hopes pre-paid parking at some city meters will encourage people who’ve had a few drinks to leave their cars at the side of the road.

If passed, sauced-up drivers could buy parking at night that won’t kick in until the meters do at 9 a.m. the next day, giving people more time to grab their autos.

Coun. Raymond Louie said the idea was forwarded to him by two University of B.C. students and is already used in Seattle.

“Essentially what happens now is you cannot pre-pay for next morning’s parking,” Louie said. “(After the changes) your car will not be towed and ticketed, just leave it in place and you can pick it up the next morning.”

Louie said the city will still need to sort out which streets will be able to allow the changes because some arteries are essential for rush-hour flow and must be cleared.

According to the motion, the changes were made in Seattle in 2011 and since then more than 2,500 people per year use the pre-paid option.

The changes would start in the downtown core of the city, where many bars and pubs are located.

Vancouver police Chief Jim Chu and the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement Association have both endorsed the idea.

The motion will go before council next week.


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