News / Calgary

'D-bag' Calgary parkers shamed on social media

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One Costco shopper decided a single handicap parking stall wasn't enough for their minivan, so they took two.

Then there's the red Ford driver who found a plush grassy spot to shut down his or her ride.

Elsewhere, it seems to be a game for big-rig runners to line up their hood ornament with the yellow line intended to divide two stalls.

All of these and many more are what Brian LaBelle would classify as "D-bag" park jobs — and he has full intentions of shaming the folks responsible online.

A certified child and youth counsellor in Edmonton, LaBelle first launched a Twitter account to call attention to poor parking in his hometown earlier this month.

But then he started getting inundated with photos from Calgary as well. It wasn't long before @DBagParkingYYC was born.

"It started out with us just wanting to make fun of people," LaBelle said. "But we've gotten quite a few people telling us, 'I re-parked my car three times today because i was worried about ending up on this website.'

"So, there are people that are changing their habits and paying attention to it out of fear of having their vehicle posted."

Troy McLeod, outgoing head of the Calgary Parking Authority, said he's not sure public shaming is a useful tool, unless word of the infraction gets back to the guilty driver.

His organization is, however, planning to roll out a new feature with its smartphone app later this year that would allow residents to snap photos of vehicles illegally parked in handicap stalls. Those shots, however, would be used for enforcement purposes, not humiliation, McLeod said.

"Obviously it's to target the information to the driver an the most effective way we have to do that is through either  a warning notice or an infraction notice," he added.

Edmonton's "Dbag Parkjob" Twitter account "exploded" the first day it was launched with 1,000 followers.

Calgary's has been slower to catch on, but LaBelle's confident there are still many negligent parkers just waiting to be made famous.

There are a few unwritten rules governing the site.

Stopped in a handicap stall? Be prepared to be humiliated.

Does you poorly parked ride feature a company decal? If so, LaBelle will take the time to craft a joke as well.

"If Psychic Medium Judy failed to predict that ticket, I think it's pretty fair to be skeptical of her powers," he wrote in relation to one photo.

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