Coquitlam Centre mall cracks down on parking as Evergreen looms

Coquitlam Centre introduces automated system to capture license plate numbers of drivers who linger past four hours to prevent SkyTrain users from taking up parking meant for shoppers

With the arrival of SkyTrain come changes in parking at the Tri-Cities' biggest shopping destination.

Beginning Tuesday, Coquitlam Centre will be automating its parking enforcement system to make it easier to catch scofflaws who leave their cars in the lot to hop on the Evergreen Extension for the day.

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"With the opening of the Evergreen [Extension], and there being two stations right at Coquitlam Centre, it is more important than ever that we are able to ensure that parking is available for our loyal customers," marketing director Deborah Stetz told The Tri-City News.

The mall will be introducing its Concord’s AutoVu enforcement vehicle program to patrol the 4,500-stall lot for park-and-riders and other violators.
It will check licence plates and anyone parking over the four-hour maximum will be fined or their vehicle towed.

"As parking is free at the centre, this makes it an attractive option for the public to attempt to ‘park and ride,’ thereby taking up valuable parking spots for long periods of time, that will then not be available for shoppers," said Stetz, explaining why the new system is being implemented.

"Previously, our parking management program was monitored manually... We are simply replacing the old system with a more accurate and automated system."

Signs will be posted to remind customers of the four-hour limit and Stetz is also encouraging people to take advantage of transit to get to the mall, especially during the busy holiday season.

Coquitlam Centre is also planning a few "pop-up parties" for customers traveling to and from the mall on SkyTrain.

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