As Confucius said: "Never use a cannon to kill a mosquito."
The District of West Vancouver is retreating on a parking enforcement policy that was simply catching and punishing too many people who violated the letter of the law, but not the spirit of it.
Using a sophisticated camera system, the district's bylaw officers could quickly scan and log every licence plate on the street and flag them for tickets if they were spotted on the same block over more than two hours.
It was meant to chase off Ambleside employees hogging badly needed customer parking spots. Instead, it ended up targeting Ambleside's most loyal shoppers.
Now the district says it will only ticket those who they catch in the act of trying to cheat the system.
We applaud the district for recognizing a flaw with its bylaw enforcement and moving to correct it, but this was a foreseeable problem.
Using a robotic approach to law enforcement is something out of cautionary science fiction novels for a reason. The district also now finds itself with some fancy (and expensive) surveillance equipment no longer needed for one of its primary intended uses. That is not a call for them to find new ways of using the Orwellian camera.
Meanwhile, parking spots remain rare commodities. Ambleside business owners need to take some leadership in this too by making sure their employees are parked anywhere but Marine Drive.
After all, it's their tax dollars paying for this clumsy bylaw enforcement.