Parking bans not on the plate after snow storms
Okotoks: Residents encouraged to move cars off road to help with snow removal
By: Don Patterson
| Posted: Wednesday, Dec 18, 2013 06:00 am
Officials with the Town of Okotoks say there is no need to follow Calgary’s lead and institute parking bans to help speed up snow removal, but it would help if people moved their cars.
There was no appetite for a parking ban when the issue was raised at a recent town council meeting, but councillors and Town personnel agreed they could use some assistance from residents.
“If they’re on a priority route, if they can do something to be off the roads, whether it’s parking on their driveway, park in their garage, park around the corner,” said Coun. Tanya Thorn.
The Town is nearly caught up removing snow from roads after a blizzard started late Dec. 1 covered the Calgary region in snow over several days.
Thorn said it’s a difficult balance for the Town to strike. While a ban would make it easy to clear roads and could ensure cars don’t get buried by plows along roadsides, she said parking bans could create problems by pushing more cars onto side streets.
“I don’t think we’re at that state where we need to put parking bans in,” said Thorn. “I don’t think we’re big enough or we get enough snowfall.”
She said Town personnel did a good job dealing with the amount of snow that fell.
Okotoks operations manager Dave Robertson said the snowfall from this month’s storm was a major event for the Town to deal with.
He said the worst hit parts of town were in the Crystal Ridge and Crystal Shores area on Okotoks’ north side.
“That’s where it drifted in the worst,” said Robertson.
As well, he said the town had to hire a contractor to clear snow on Cimarron Boulevard.
According to Robertson, it’s not the first time the question of a parking ban was raised at council.
He said Okotoks doesn’t need to follow Calgary’s lead in instituting a snow route parking ban, as traffic volumes in the city are higher in comparison to Okotoks.
“Respecting what the City of Calgary has had to do, its kind of a different ball game,” he said.
Robertson said the Town needs to consider how much residents would be willing to support a parking ban.
“Get all the vehicles off the road and we’ll clear it lickety-split, but that doesn’t work socially,” he said.
Robertson said he wouldn’t rule out having to tow a vehicle if it needed to be moved to help clear snow and the Town wasn’t able to contact its owner.
However, he said the Town hasn’t needed to tow vehicles to remove snow.
“In my history here, and I’ve been here 20 years, we have never had to tow anybody,” said Robertson. “We’ve ploughed around folks, and for the most part people are co-operative.”
Okotoks resident Dave Kabat said the Town doesn’t need a parking ban to help clear snow from roads.
“I don’t think we have to,” he said.
Kabat said it took the Town two to three days to get the slow plowed from his Cimarron-area road. He doesn’t have any problems with snow removal.
“You gotta give them a chance to catch up,” he said.
Kabat said it would be nice if people moved their cars, not only to help with snow removal, but also to ensure cars don’t get stuck on the road in front of someone’s house.