Budget committee considers winter parking bans

Justin
Justin Crann
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Mahabub Zaman (left), Moose Jaw's acting director of engineering services, delivers a report about potential parking ban strategies and enforcement to the budget committee Tuesday.

A report to Moose Jaw’s budget committee concerning the introduction of parking bans to better facilitate city snow removal services was the subject of considerable discussion during the committee’s meeting Tuesday evening.

The report suggested potential solutions to an ongoing issue for the city’s snow removal teams: the presence of parked cars on the shoulders of streets being plowed.

Suggestions ranged from the introduction of permanent no parking signs along designated arteries or the placement of temporary placards and delivery of letters informing residents of plowing operations on priority one and two streets.

Councillor Dawn Luhning took point for the budget committee, raising concerns about temporary signage.

“I don’t want temporary signs put up every year. Big cities like Montreal, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton actually have permanent signs on their streets,” said Coun. Luhning. “It’s not an issue of staff going out every time there’s a snow event and putting temporary signs on the poles.”

“To go out and slap up a sign every time you have a snowfall, to me, is really counterproductive,” added Councillor Candis Kirkpatrick. “What are we using these people for? How many times would they have been out there this winter, trying to get these signs up after the fact that people’s cars were already snowed in?”

Councillor Don Mitchell weighed in by suggesting the introduction of designated parking on one side of a street with the possibility of alternating that side of the street.

“Then in residential areas, people have the option of parking on the opposite side,” said Coun. Mitchell. “There is excess room to park if we were to designate one side, and most of the larger cities are doing that, but also Prince Albert. To me, that makes sense.”

Coun. Kirkpatrick suggested adapting a model used by other urban centres in the country.

“From the first snowfall, and here in my notes it’s until March 31 of every year — it doesn’t matter if there’s only a bit of snow on the ground — you will park one week on the north side of the street, and the next week on the south side of the street,” Coun. Kirkpatrick said. “It doesn’t matter if there’s snow on the ground. When the snowfall comes, the city can be assured that they’re going to be able to go down those streets and be able to clear one side of the street right to the sidewalk.”

Kirkpatrick suggested the rolling out of the plan to smaller sections of the city to test it out initially, and then expanding it if the program was successful.

“That’s the kind of thing that I’d like to see us try,” said Coun. Luhning. “I know nobody in Saskatchewan is doing something like that. ... I like the idea of doing some test sections around the city, and I know we’re going to have the opportunity to talk about this again tomorrow night ... That would be something I would be prepared to try and craft a motion (about).”

“Big cities like Ottawa and Montreal and Toronto do these kinds of things. I understand they have more resources and more employees, but I just think we could do things maybe a little differently and a little better,” she said. “But I would like some input, honestly, from administration as to what can be done with regard to parking bans.”

The city’s snow removal policies, and potential parking bans, will be further discussed during Wednesday’s budget meeting.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Montreal, Ottawa Calgary Edmonton

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  • steve
    February 22, 2013 - 13:18

    I don't know where the above comments(Gene) are coming from. I have lived across this country and in Europe. Moose Jaw has the worst snow plowing period. Why is this even a concern when the plows are never out when they should be. Ruts are all over. They react instead of being proactive. Gene...Weyburn has better snow plowing and clearer roads then Moose Jaw. The snow plowing service in Moose Jaw is close to non existent! Wake up residents, councillors and city management!

  • Gene
    February 21, 2013 - 21:17

    Maybe Taylor should get out of Moose Jaw once and a while and go to Saskatoon or Regina then tell us how our roads are compared to them .I think Moose Jaw does a fine job of clearing the streets.

  • Roddie MacKinnon
    February 20, 2013 - 12:23

    I think that this would be an excellent idea.They can do it for street sweeping so why can't they do it for snow plowing. I can understand some people's concern because they have no off street parking but my idea is for only a temporary ban so the graders and plows would have time to remove the snow and ice. The other thing that annoys me is the fact that I have seen vehicles that have been parked in the same spot without moving since November. They should be towed away after, say 72 hours. Finally I would say that compared to the early 90's snow removal is 100% percent better but there is still room for improvement. The snow removal rules shouldn't be so hard and fast meaning when the grader operator is transiting across town and he see s a build of snow he should be able to drop his plow and move the snow. I have often seen grader operators driving from one side of the city to another and drive right through a build up of snow without taking a couple of minutes to lower their blade and clear away this buildup.

  • Taylor
    February 19, 2013 - 22:45

    A parking ban would probably be the dumbest idea for Moose Jaw because a lot of people don't have driveways near their doors and in my case we have four vehicles between my family and I park on the street every day so I have access to my car without playing rush hour haha. I really hope they don't pass this. It's not the cars that block things they just suck at plowing anyway and that is well known in Moose Jaw