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Parking your gas guzzler in an EV parking space could spark a ticket

'This will free up waterfront parking spots for gas vehicles as it gives EV drivers an incentive to park at the parkade. It’s a win-win,' said Coun. Morales
An electric car charges. (via Brendan Kergin)

Get your non-electric vehicle out of the charging station parking spots, because the bylaws in Barrie are changing.

During Monday night’s council meeting, councillors voted to change the bylaws surrounding electric-vehicle charging stations. Previously, non-electric vehicles could park in the spaces if they were vacant.

Now, unless your electric vehicle (EV) is parked and plugged in, usage of the spaces could come with a fine of between $50 and $1,000.

Council also voted to waive fees for a 12-month period for the Collier Street Parkade stalls only.  Staff in the transit and parking strategy department have been asked to report back to general committee concerning the usage of these stalls during the trial period.

“When the previous council put up the charging stations, we put them on the top floor (of the parkade) because the comments from staff were that so far, the parkade is never fully utilized and the users wouldn’t mind walking a little bit extra,” said Coun. Sergio Morales.

“The purpose of the amendment is to... incentivize the EV owners,” he added. “This will free up waterfront parking spots for gas vehicles as it gives EV drivers an incentive to park at the parkade. It’s a win-win for gas drivers and EV drivers.”

The City of Barrie currently has four electric vehicle charging stations around town: the Collier Parkade, the downtown branch of the Barrie Public Library, the Heritage Park lot on Simcoe Street, and the Barrie Marina at 55 Lakeshore Dr.

The cost of the new signage for the spaces is estimated to be $3,000 and will be funded through the 2020 Parking Rate Operating Budget.

Due to COVID-19, currently parking enforcement has been relaxed in Barrie’s downtown. Once emergency restrictions are lifted, new signage explaining the change will be erected and the new bylaw will go into effect.

Bill 123, called the Reserved Parking for Electric Vehicle Charging Act 2019, was put forward last year by Guelph MPP Mike Schreiner.

The bill amends the Highway Traffic Act to add a provision which provides that no person shall park a vehicle in an electric-vehicle charging station that is identified by a sign that satisfies the requirements prescribed by regulation, unless the vehicle is an electric vehicle and it is attached to the station’s charging equipment.

For more information on electric-vehicle charging stations in the city, click here.