The City of Charlottetown all but put an end to the winter overnight parking ban on Monday night.
Coun. David MacDonald, chair of protective and emergency services, informed council the new strategy is to communicate to residents when the plows and salt trucks will be out.
In fact, council isn’t going to make any changes to its existing bylaws.
“After we went back and reviewed the bylaws, we saw where police have always had the discretion on whether or not they (issue a) ticket,’’ MacDonald said. “Essentially, the way it used to work is police would ticket on nights when public works would notify them that they were going to be doing work.’’
As it stands now, police in the city can issue a $25 ticket to any vehicle parked illegally or one that is in the way of a snowplow.
In the past, residents were never sure when the city would have its snow-clearing equipment out. While it may be easy to figure out trucks will be out after a snowfall, it can often take days to get rid of all the snow across the capital.
“We are not going to ticket vehicles unless there is an indication that there is poor weather coming or there’s obviously a bad day.’’
The city has now set up a detailed page on its own website with continuous updates. People can even subscribe to the alerts. Go to the city’s website at www.city.charlottetown.pe.ca and click on the box that reads ‘Know About Snow’.
“We are not going to ticket vehicles unless there is an indication that there is poor weather coming or there’s obviously a bad day.’’ - David MacDonald, chair of protective and emergency services
Monday was a good example of how the new system works. Even though snow fell for much of the day, the weather turned to rain Monday night, removing any need to have snowplows on the roads. That very message was conveyed on the city’s website.
The city is also promising to alert the media with updates. For those who don’t have access to the Internet, the city has set up a phone number people can call to find out — 629-6916.
MacDonald says better communication will take some of the pressure off residents.
“A lot of people had a tough time finding an alternative place to put (their vehicles).’’
In many cases, people were parking on their lawns and properties were being torn up.
MacDonald was asked whether police had issued tickets before when there was no need to.
“They tried as much as possible in the past to exercise common sense or good judgment.’’
MacDonald said police will still issue tickets to vehicles parked illegally, regardless of the weather.
In the past, that may have resulted in other vehicles on that same street receiving tickets due to the parking ban.