Halifax parking ban irks motorists again

At least one motorist is asking why Halifax's overnight winter parking ban stays in place even when it's not snowing.

City official says overnight hours can't be trimmed back

At least one motorist is asking why Halifax's overnight winter parking ban stays in place even when it's not snowing.

A snowplow clears a Halifax road last winter. More than 10,000 tickets were issued under the winter overnight parking ban last season. ((CBC))

Margaret King, who works at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre, is among the employees who park along Trollope Street, between the Halifax Common and the Citadel historic site.

Some car owners were given $50 tickets at around 5:30 a.m. Monday as part of the city's ban, which forbids them from parking there between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m.

King moved her car, but she wonders why the ban has to be enforced in clear weather, an hour before the ban is over.

"I would think 1 to 5," she said. "I understand if it is snowing … A lot of times if people know it's going to snow they won't park, but a lot of people have to start at 5 and 6 in the morning."

Alan Taylor, with the Halifax Regional Municipality's traffic services department, said people need to be encouraged to find off-street parking for the entire winter.

Overnight hours can't be trimmed back, he said.

"It's during that time when it's not a snow event that the crews are out to push back the snow banks," he said. "And that's a short shift already, six hours. They would probably prefer longer."

The ban, which runs from Dec. 15 to March 31, has been controversial in the past, especially with motorists ticketed when there is no snow.

During the winter of 2009-10, 10,503 tickets were issued for violations of the ban, which ended early due to mild weather. Tickets were issued 18,038 times during the 2008-09 season.