PORT SAUNDERS, NL – A series of issues with parking limitations has Eugene Caines fed-up and searching for answers.
Caines’ parking issues began last summer with a knock on his door from an RCMP officer, requesting he move his truck or face a ticket.
Caines Lane is a tight stretch of road just off the highway that leads into Port Saunders and Port au Choix. Caines had parked his truck beside the road’s pavement across from his neighbour’s house just up from Caines’ home, which is situated at the end of the lane.
Because there was not a “No Parking” sign along the lane, Caines refused to move his truck and told the officer he would fight the ticket in court.
Then, on July 26, Caines looked out his front door to find two “No Parking” signs being placed at each end of Caines Lane.
“They told me I parked illegally, and I said ‘well, where’s the sign?’,” said Caines, recalling his previous conversation with the RCMP officer. “Then by afternoon the next day – the sign was there.”
The signs read “No Parking Between Signs” with an arrow pointing to the other end of the lane.
According to Caines, he has not had an answer from the town office of Port Saunders as to why these signs were put in place.
“For years and years I’ve parked in that spot,” he said. “Like everybody else, I want to park off the pavement. Why they have a problem with it, I don’t know.”
Port Saunders Mayor Tony Ryan was reached for comment but was not available by deadline.
Although he was frustrated to see the new no-parking policy being implemented on the road he had lived on for many years, Caines decided to find a way to deal with it.
With a considerable amount of space between his home and the “No Parking” sign, Caines purchased $160 worth of gravel and laid it out next to the road to make himself a parking spot.
He says he needs the additional space to park because of plans to build a new porch out front of his home.
With his makeshift parking spot located past the limits specified by the “No Parking” signs, Caines hoped this would be the end of the matter.
But he found his trouble was only beginning.
Working away in Hawke’s Bay, Caines came home the evening of Oct. 19 to find an empty metal rod where the “No Parking” sign near his gravel once was.
Instead, the sign was moved roughly 10 feet and placed in the middle of the gravel spot he had made for his truck.
Now, the no parking limits specified by the signs include his gravel area.
“I came home that Thursday evening and they had (the sign) uprooted and put in my driveway,” said Caines.
Caines was particularly frustrated by this latest development, and with a long history of issues with the town, he feels bullied.
“My kids often tell me I should just move,” he said. “It trickles down the line – they’re all affected by it too.”
Caines’ family owned Caines Lane for many years, but donated it to the town to access snow clearing services in the 1990s. Caines says the issues have increased since then, particularly around snow clearing.
“In the winter, when the plow comes the house is barred off full of snow,” said Caines. “I spend most of my winters shovelling my pavement off.”
Still, Caines hopes by making this issue public he can find a better way to communicate and work with the town.
“Hopefully we can cooperate and put this all behind us,” he said. “I want to build a bridge.”
Caines wrote a letter to Port Saunders council, congratulating the new and returning councillors and addressing his concerns about parking on Caines Lane. Since the week following the council meeting on Monday Oct. 30, Caines says he has not yet heard word from the town.