The snow hasn't fallen yet this season, but the Halifax Regional Municipality says it hopes to tackle its snow cleaning hurdles head on with a new alert program to spread the word when streets are closed.

"It's my first winter as mayor and I want people to understand that this is a shared responsibility that we have," said Mike Savage.

One of the city's biggest challenges is communicating the winter parking ban. On one day alone last winter, the city issued more than 1,000 tickets because people were parked when the ban was in effect.

So when it's time hit the icy roads this year, HRM is offering some clarity.

The city invested in a new system called CityWatch to spread the word when the streets are closed to parking.

"It's an automated system. You'll get a call, just like at a hotel, you'd get a wake up call. Boom, 6:30 you get a wake up call," said Ken Reashor, the municipality's director of transportation.

The system can call two phone numbers at residents' homes and send email to two addresses to make sure people know when the parking ban is on.

The city said the new 311 hotline will be up-to-date for people who don't want to sign up for CityWatch.

Plus the city's website will let you know when the lanes need to be car free.

"That way they have another source other than the media, the phone lines, the 311, and what's done out on public service announcements," Reashor said.

"One message we really want to get out about the winter ban is that we want people to be responsible and get off the street when conditions warrant. This, again, is about safety."

Residents can sign up for CityWatch on the HRM website. The overnight parking ban comes into effect on Dec. 15.