Commute chaos means short-notice parking ban for Edmonton
Tuesday, December 4, 2018, 11:00 AM - Parking ban season is officially upon us.
Sunday's dump of snow made a mess of roads in the Edmonton region, leading to hundreds of collisions and the deployment of street cleaning crews.
In Sherwood Park, the heavy snowfall meant a parking ban was imposed with less than two hours notice on Monday.
Residents found out they had to move their vehicles off collector roads marked with snow route signs at about 10:30 a.m. The parking ban went into effect at noon.
Manager of Transportation Infrastructure Ryan Wilson said the ban had to be imposed quickly, due to the amount of snow that hit Strathcona County — upwards of 21 centimetres in 48 hours.
The county has a policy that requires collector routes be cleared as quickly as possible when more than 21 centimetres of snow falls, Wilson said.
"With our traffic bylaw, it's required that we have 24-hour notice before a parking ban can be enforced. But obviously, we do know we have to start work, and included in that would be getting cars out of the way," he said, noting about 100 people were working to clear the roads on Monday.
"Until we meet that 24-hour notice period, we will be towing cars with no fines attached."
Vehicles are towed to nearby residential streets, which will be cleared once collector roads are complete.
Come noon on Tuesday, tickets will be handed out to people who don't move their vehicles off affected routes.
If the weather cooperates, the ban should wrap up within 48 hours, Wilson said.
Glenn Tralnberg uses a snowblower to clear sidewalks in Edmonton on Monday morning. (CBC/Dave Bajer)
SPRUCE GROVE PARKING BAN
A parking ban for Edmonton will go into effect at 1 a.m. Tuesday.
The snow also left its mark west of the city, covering roads in Spruce Grove, where a parking ban goes into effect Tuesday at 7:30 a.m.
City of Spruce Grove spokesperson Jennifer Heatherington said vehicles will be ticketed and towed if left on the collector roads that fall under the ban.
"We know that it's an inconvenience for people not to be able to park on a roadway that they typically would park on overnight, so we do it as fast as we possibly can," she said, noting it could take a few days for all of the roads to be cleared.
"It's really important that they get their vehicles out of the way because we're talking about large equipment. We like to get the snow off as quickly and as efficiently as possible, and a vehicle left on the roadway impedes that progress."
Spruce Grove/Stony Plain RCMP Const. Shelley Nasheim said there were also poor conditions on roads outside the city.
"It did rain, and then of course freezing temperatures, and then snow on top of that. So it's making for some pretty awful, awful road conditions," she said, adding major roads like Highway 43 and 627 were quite icy.
Between 2 p.m. Sunday and 3:30 p.m. Monday, there were 23 collisions in the Spruce Grove and Stony Plain regions, Nasheim said, noting several of those collisions happened in the Highway 16 area.
Many vehicles ended up in the ditch, and could be sitting there overnight.
"It's dangerous to have our tow truck drivers out there," Nasheim said. "We just don't want to put people at risk right now. And I'm thinking the tow truck drivers are going to exercise that caution as well. So they may wait until it's safer to go out there and recover that vehicle."
This article was originally posted on CBC.ca by Anna McMillan.