Winnipeg's oft-misunderstood residential snow-clearing parking rules are significantly more complicated in the core neighbourhoods of Wolseley and the West End.

Residents in snow zone "B/D" are in a hybrid of both snow zones B and D. Each street is assigned one of the two zones in an alternating fashion. People who live there say confusion over the parking ban likely explains why that area is among the most heavily ticketed during snow plow operations.

A CBC News analysis of over 30,000 parking tickets dating back to 2012 issued for on-street parking during snow-clearing operations revealed that of the top 50 most-ticketed streets, 20 were located either fully or partially within snow zone B/D.

chris_lacey

Chris Lacey says he constantly has to double check where he can and cannot park during residential snow plow operations. (Holly Caruk/CBC News)

Wolseley resident Chris Lacey says he's not surprised by these findings.

"I'm guessing it's just because nobody knows what's going on," he said.

"I got the e-mail saying there's going to be something and I'd go check, but it was always a constant checking and trying to remember which zone was which," said Lacey.


How does snow zone B/D work?

When the city declares a residential parking ban, residents across 71 of the 72 distinct snow zones must ensure their vehicles are off the streets located within their entire zone for a 12-hour period to avoid getting ticketed and towed. However the rules differ in zone B/D:

  • When the city declares a city wide on-street parking ban for zone B, residents can park on the adjacent streets within their neighbourhood designated as "zone D" (yellow-coloured streets).
  • When the city next declares snow plow operations for zone D, residents can then park on streets within their neighbourhood designated as "zone B" (purple-coloured streets).
snow zone close up

(City of Winnipeg)

A city spokesperson says this method was selected for this area due to its strong population density and close proximity to the downtown area, making it more challenging for residents to find parking space in adjacent snow zones.

The city councillor for the Daniel McIntyre ward — which largely spans the same area as the B/D snow zone — says her residents are landlocked by the Assiniboine River to the south, the downtown area to the east and an industrial park to the north, and so this solution makes sense given the circumstances.

"Nothing is ever perfect. There are times when you get new residents that you know have to learn how its being done," says Cindy Gilroy.

"We're looking at getting an app designed. We're trying to come up with ways how we can communicate it better, that's ongoing," she added.

Know Your Zone program is 'illegal,' says critic

Todd Dube, whose recent court challenge over a residential parking ban ticket lead the city to admit it had issued thousands of parking tickets that did not comply with the Highway Traffic Act, believes the entire system is unfair due to the lack of signage.

"Their enforcement is obviously unfair without the temporary 'no parking' signs required by the HTA and their combined zones method makes it even more confusing and unfair to the public, who are inadvertently parking on their street and therefore breaking the law and being fined," said Dube.

Dube said today he is prepared to launch a class-action lawsuit against the City of Winnipeg, if it does not voluntarily reimburse individuals ticketed during snow-clearing operations since the program's inception.