Special parking signs posted during Winterlude have raised the ire of residents in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood who have received tickets or had their vehicles towed due to new restrictions.
Over last weekend, vehicles were towed near the intersection of Fifth Avenue and O'Connor Street even though the owners had on-street parking permits from the City of Ottawa.
New parking signs were posted above current signs for the duration of Winterlude, which runs until Feb. 18.
The signs ban any on-street parking during the festival in areas where parking is normally allowed.
Area resident Adrienne Annan said her neighbours knocked on her door last Saturday, saying her car was being towed. She then confronted the tow truck driver and convinced him to leave the vehicle, but she did receive a $90 ticket from a bylaw officer.
"I was infuriated because when I had parked here Friday afternoon there was no sign saying there was going to be any restricted parking," she told the CBC's Ryan Gibson.
Multiple signs confuse, but top sign is law
Annan received the ticket even though the usual sign remained, which exempted permit holders from parking limitations. The problem was, the "special event" parking sign was posted above overnight, she said.
"For the permit holders ... give us the courtesy of letting us know in advance, but also of making the signs clear so that we know who is allowed to park there and who is not," she said.
Coun. David Chernushenko, who represents Glebe residents as part of his Capital Ward, said special event signs were always posted in front of usual signs or replaced usual signs.
But Chernushenko said city staff are trying to save "money and time" by just posting temporary signs above permanent signs.
Chernushenko said provincial laws state if there are multiple signs, the one at the top dictates the current bylaw.
"The signage has to be clearer this time around, and staff are currently looking at how exactly they're going to do that," he said.
"There's generally an acknowledgement that this new approach led to some confusion."
Residents who want to contest fines must do so in court.