Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

This nonsense has to stop

with 5 comments

Richmond Review

At the corner of Williams and No 3 are two adjacent shopping areas – Broadmoor and Richlea – with separate ownerships. There is no fence between them, or any signage indicating the boundary. But people who dare to park at one and then shop next door get a $65 parking ticket. The malls defend the practice by saying we have “to protect the parking space for our own shoppers”. Bizarre. If I shop in Safeway, I’m their customer, but as soon as I go to the bank or buy a lottery ticket I am fair game for $65 fine. This is not the first time that this ridiculous situation has happened. City Wide Towing got itself in all sorts of trouble for following shoppers and then towing their cars if they left the lot to shop next door. Diamond Parking seem to be following in their footsteps.

Never mind the commercial idiocy of chasing people away from a Mall that is already a commercial failure (vacancies in the indoor section of Broadmoor now exceed the space taken up by the few remaining tenants). Forget that the banks in Broadmoor bring people to the adjacent shops at Richlea. Just think about what these idiots think you are supposed to do. Find a spot to park in: do some shopping, then get back in your car, start it up and drive a few metres just so you can continue shopping. Know what that does to emissions? Do you have any sense of civic responsibility?

Richmond expects every shopkeeper to provide his own parking. They accept no civic responsibility except for a few on-street spaces which have pay and display meters. Which is why No 3 Road from Richmond Centre to Bridgeport is a total traffic disaster. Lots of parking lot entrances with tight radius turns and lots of cars driving short distances from lot to lot. Most cities in Britain have municipal parking facilities adjacent to their major shopping areas. It is the only way to keep a vibrant town centre going in the face of megabox stores on the edge of town.

But I am not about to waste my time talking to Richmond civic leaders. I just expect these two mall operators to realise that they sink or swim together. There are many places I can go to shop. Indeed, I regularly drive to do the big grocery shop at Thrifty’s in Tsawassen.

So if you want my business, you had better clean up your act sharpish!

UPDATE

An abbreviated version of this article appeared in the Richmond Review as a letter to the editor (Nov 30)

Written by Stephen Rees

November 25, 2006 at 2:45 pm

5 Responses

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  1. Hi. As an employee of the Broadmoor mall, I received a ticket on the Richlea (Safeway) side. Only problem…they ticketed me on Oct. 31, yet the ticket was dated Oct. 2. I wasn’t working at the time indicated on the ticket. The ticket read that it was for $50 if paid within 15 days, or $65 after 15 days. I believe Diamond Towing is intentionally pre-dating these tickets in an attempt to collect extra money. I got a letter, dated Nov. 9/06 (9 days after my original ticket was issued), stated the total had climbed to $96.01. I am outraged and feel that the fraudulent ticketing procedures are nothing less than a “scam” by Diamond….not “mistakes”, as they claim (it’s happened to several of us). They’re suggested to “violators” that perhaps they’ve “missed” the tickets and the dates were correct…if that were the case, it would’ve meant mine was on my windshield for four weeks, through torrential rainstorms (yet sustained no damage – it was in perfect conditions and had no smears or water marks). I find it funny that the Richlea mall, who are ticketing Broadmoor customers have a buggy return cage over on the Broadmoor side…kind of a double standard, I’d say. I’ve written to the papers and will be following up at City Hall re Diamond’s licensing. Glad you’ve posted on this…it’s an important issue when companies try and cheat/gouge unsuspecting patrons.

    debbielynn

    November 27, 2006 at 11:37 pm

  2. (*sorry, a lot of typos…very tired tonight but feel strongly about this issue!)

    debbielynn

    November 27, 2006 at 11:39 pm

  3. The Richmond Review is now reporting (Nov 30) that “Parking tickets with the wrong date will be scrapped’, which deals with debbielynn’s complaint.
    However while the Richlea mall admits that Diamond was “a bit agressive” the only response is going to be bigger signs. Broadmoor mall, of course, couldn’t be bothered to reply. So that leaves the daft situation in place, which will no doubt cure the parking “problem” by people like me going elsewhere. There is nothing there that I cannot find elsewhere.
    My bet is that sooner or later either the malls will merge or Broadmoor will see high rise condos as a better earner than empty stores. They might go look at Tswassen where the Town Centre Mall has been refurbished by building condos over what was once retail space. Or even mixed use development – people living over the shops?

    Stephen Rees

    December 1, 2006 at 11:13 am

  4. [...] post spotters, because leaving a lot without your car can be very profitable for these companies. This practice even extends to areas outside the city centre. So most of the car traffic on No 3 Road is people going from one shop to another. A typical [...]

  5. There is an easy way to get these people to stop calling.

    According to the BUSINESS PRACTICES AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT;

    (4) A collector must not continue to communicate with a debtor
    (a) except in writing, if the debtor
    (i)  has notified the collector to communicate in writing only, and
    (ii)  has provided a mailing address at which the debtor may be contacted,

    see this link: http://www.bclaws.ca/EPLibraries/bclaws_new/document/ID/freeside/04002_09

    Simply send the collections agency a fax stating you wish to be contacted by written correspondence ONLY and state the mailing address at which they can send mail to you. Provide your full name and be sure to clearly note what matter pertains to (i.e. parking ticket for license plate number ABC 123) sign the fax, and record the date you sent it. Keep the fax. You also need to send the same fax to the creditor (i.e. the parking lot company such as Diamond Parking).

    If by chance they are calling you about a parking ticket from Diamond Parking, in the same fax, tell them you wish to dispute the ticket and all related charges in court. They wont take you to court because it’s your word against theirs, they won’t win. Even if they tried the cost of pursuing the matter in court far exceeds the sum they can hope to recover.

    Lastly, a parking ticket and fine from a private parking lot WILL NOT and CAN NOT affect your credit rating. You did not borrow money from them and not pay it back. Parking tickets from the city or a government entity, however, is a different story.

    maryfran

    July 3, 2010 at 9:30 am


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