Edmonton to use 2-phase parking ban for snow-clearing this winter

Edmonton drivers can look forward to quicker snow removal and better winter roads, especially in neighbourhoods, after council approved a new, two-phase citywide parking ban Wednesday.

“In previous years, our crews had to navigate around vehicles left on the street,” Brian Simpson, the city’s branch manager for parks and roads services, told reporters after council approved the move Wednesday.

“[Crews] had to move slowly, and ultimately ended up leaving behind windrows or snow piles. We’ve heard that residents want quicker service, clearer roads, especially in their neighbourhoods.

“With a parking ban we won’t have [that] challenge and can blade from curb to curb, allowing for clear roads that are easier and safer for all users on the mobility network.”

The two-part ban will work like this:

  • Phase 1 will see city plows first clear arterial and collector roads, bus routes and business improvement areas. Parking will be banned from these roads but drivers will still be able to park on residential streets. There will be a minimum of eight hours notice before the start of Phase 1 of the ban.
  • During Phase 2, crews will clear residential and industrial roads. During the second phase, residents will be able to park on any road cleared during Phase 1 where parking is normally allowed.

In both phases of the parking ban, parking will be allowed on any as soon as it has been cleared. Previously, the public had to wait for the city to call off the ban before parking on the street again.

Phase 1 is anticipated to last about 48 hours. Phase 2 would last five to seven days overall, but the impact to individual communities is expected to be about 72 hours.

Simpson said the city won’t call a parking ban every time it snows.

A ban will be imposed only when major snowfalls are projected or conditions like ruts and slush require extra work. Based on previous experience, the city anticipates four parking bans this winter, Simpson said.

“In order for our roads to be cleared efficiently, Edmontonians and the city are partners in helping to achieve safe, livable roads in neighbourhoods,” Simpson said.

“We bring the trucks and the expertise; we just need the residents to move their vehicles.”

Simpson said it will take some time for city residents to adjust to the new system. There will be signs in neighbourhoods when crews are scheduled to clear roads.

The city will focus on education before enforcement, but warnings and fines continue to be options to gain compliance when required.

The fine for not following the parking ban is $100, and towing will continue to be used in limited circumstances.

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