City issues 500 tickets under new parking ban

Parking enforcement officers were out in full force Friday looking for vehicles violating Edmonton's first residential parking ban of the season.

500 tickets issued by 2:30 p.m.

An Edmonton bylaw enforcement officer issues a ticket to a truck parked on a bus route Friday morning. (CBC)

The city issued 500 tickets n the first seven and a half hours of Friday's residential parking ban but are giving people a chance to move their vehicles before they are towed away.

"We want compliance but unfortunately we had to issue the 500 tickets," said Erin Blaine, the city's parking enforcement coordinator. "If it continues, we will have to tow as well."

Parking enforcement officers began issuing $50 tickets at locations around the city once the ban went into effect at 7 a.m.

If the vehicles haven't been moved by the time snow plows arrive, they will be towed to the city's impound lot at 12230-124 Ave. Owners of towed vehicles will pay $116, plus $28 per day for storage. 

A car covered in snow sits next to an ETS bus stop at 79th Street and 95th Avenue. (Andrea Huncar/CBC News)

Bylaw officers gave Steve Webb a break when he ran up to his car on 144th Avenue as it was about to be tagged.

He said he wasn't aware he needed to move his car from the bus route near his home.

"I didn't realize that," he said, "But I do now."

Crews notice a difference

The director of roadway maintenance, Bob Dunford, estimated about 45 per cent of the city's arterial and collector roads were cleared by 3 p.m. Friday. He says residential blading will begin Sunday at 7 a.m.

Friday was the first test of the city's snow removal residential parking ban after about 15 centimetres of snow fell on the city Thursday.

The ban applies to all residential bus routes. The original version of the proposal, with a complete ban on parking along snow routes between Nov. 15 and March 15, was controversial part of the city's new snow removal policy.

City officials proposed the idea after cars parked on residential streets hampered efforts to remove large amounts of snow last winter.

But some motorists complained that a blanket ban would leave them with nowhere to park. The ban was later revised so it would only be declared in response to snowfalls.

Dunford says the ban is helping snow-clearing crews.

"The guys are saying there is a difference," he said. "We're going to get together after this event and debrief and just talk about what difference it has made."

The ban will be in effect until the city issues a notice saying otherwise. Dunford doesn't expect it will go beyond 48 hours.

The city also vowed to improve how it tells residents about snow-clearing efforts. Starting Friday afternoon, people can enter their address into a new interactive map to find out when crews will be in their neighbourhood.