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Conflicting Accessible Parking Signs Cause Confusion at Algonquin College

Ottawa man ticketed $55 when ‘no parking’ signs pop up in accessible spaces By Waubgeshig Rice, CBC News Posted: Jul 26, 2016

An Ottawa man says he’s “very pleased” that Algonquin College has cleared up confusion around accessible parking spaces on campus that led to him getting a ticket last week.

Mike More, who’s currently recovering from hip replacement surgery and has an accessible parking permit, visited the campus last Tuesday for a meeting about an Ontario Genealogical Society conference he’s organizing there for next year.

“So I pulled into one of these accessible parking spots, and when I came out, I discovered it was posted as both accessible parking and no parking, and I had a ticket on my windshield from the Algonquin parking services,” said More.

Mike More took this picture of the accessible parking spots at Algonquin College showing ‘no parking’ signs. (Mike More)

The ticket was for $55, much to his confusion. “I was not very happy about that,” he said. “I was worried about what were going to happen when the conference happens next year with the parking situation.”

He took the ticket to the city’s client service centre at nearby Ben Franklin Place to complain about it. Staff there suggested he take it to the provincial court on Constellation Drive, where the ticket was cancelled.

‘Something fell through the cracks’

Still, More worried other motorists who require accessible spots at Algonquin would also be ticketed.

“I was concerned that the sign said one thing, and another sign said something else,” he said.

Jean-Guy Fréchette, Algonquin’s associate director of government and stakeholder relations, calls the conflicting signs an oversight, and says the college has since corrected the issue. The “no parking” signs originally went up in the accessible spaces to make way for a food truck.

“Every Tuesday we’ve got local food trucks that come, and there was confusion with where they were parked last week,” said Fréchette. “They were parked in the handicapped spots that are held during the school year for our students and faculty who have accessibility issues. So the food truck is moved.”

He thanked More for coming forward, calling the situation part of a “learning process.”

“We’re going to make sure that when we deal with the parking situation and other accessibility issues, that we will deal with those appropriately so that every member has a great experience here at the college,” he added.

More is thankful college staff dealt with his complaint.

“Something fell through the cracks I guess, and I happened to fall into one of those cracks last week,” he said.

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