A couple Sundays ago I noticed a Regina City parking enforcement vehicle. It caught my eye, because it was a large GMC SUV. Why would an SUV be used for parking enforcement? In New York City, which also has Winter storms and cold weather, they use vehicles literally smaller than golf carts, to get around and write parking tickets. Why would a City supposedly attempting to reduce its carbon footprint, buy over-sized gas guzzlers to idle in traffic (since they’re too big to park where legal parking is already overwhelmed)?
I phoned Service Regina to find out. Parking Enforcement called me back the next day and I asked why SUVs are being bought. It’s up to the Fleet Manager, explained the Parking employee. I asked if I could speak to them rather than call Service Regina again about the same question. Sure, but they’ll probably send the request back over to Parking because it’s mentioning a Parking vehicle. *sigh*
The Parking office offered this suggestion as to why the ridiculous choice of SUVs for parking enforcement has been made:
The vehicles have to do enforcement on the limits of the City, like a portion of Winnipeg St. that isn’t paved, and their smaller cars were needing to be towed, and that wastes time. Even with Winter tires, they were getting stuck.
So the reason we need more SUVs cruising around the city in the Summer, branded with our government’s logo, is that our infrastructure is so 3rd World, that ordinary cars can’t make round trips without tow trucks. Gee, if someone is going to park illegally in a place that standard parking enforcement can’t go, and might need a tow, maybe the income from that ticket isn’t really worth it? Send the tow truck to grab the illegally parked vehicle, instead. (Or teach Parking enforcers not to drive into mud and snow drifts.)
A large GMC SUV must cost at least $30,000, as a conservative estimate [yikes, wasn’t conservative enough, it’s only $25,300!]. A GM EV Volt would cost about the same or less. One will burn a tank of gas every few days. The other will have zero tailpipe emissions and low noise. Why is our City’s Fleet service choosing wrong, to solve a problem that has better solutions than more vehicular pollution?
Their answer is that the old people working for Parking want to step up into an SUV rather than sit down into a lower car. Also, being stuck is a concern.
The employees prefer the SUV, which no doubt is a more intimidating vehicle than the more standard Focus. (It also could help compensate for a feeling of inadequacy.)