At the end of the month the curtain will close on this year's production of
"The Winter Parking Ban - The Sequel".
The Sequel, of course, is the new G-rated version of the much-loathed ban
that ordered all cars off the streets of Halifax every night, between
mid-December and mid-March, regardless of the weather. Just uttering the words
"winter parking ban" was enough to send many residents and business owners into
fits of rage. The old ban consumed more debate time at city hall than the
chicken and cat by-laws combined.
Now that's not to say The Sequel, which only orders cars off the streets
in bad weather, hasn't had its critics. Monday morning, 1,075 residents woke up
to find $50 dollar tickets on their windshields. Some complained the city
didn't give them enough notice the ban was being put into place Sunday night.
Whether it was a communication error, or complacency, Sunday was clearly an
anomaly. The 1,075 tickets account for more than 25% of all the tickets written
The city has imposed the parking ban nine nights this winter. The total
number of tickets handed out (including Sunday) is 4,238.
Last year, with the total ban in place, the city handed out 7,787 tickets.
And last year's winter parking ban ended early - March 4th.
On the surface it appears The Sequel is a success.
Granted, it's been a
pretty mild winter, but when it has snowed the streets have been cleared (insert
complaint about your street here), and on all but nine nights people have been
able to park their car on the street near their home.
But the man in charge isn't ready to give it two thumbs up - at least not
Ken Reashor, the Halifax Regional Municipality's traffic authority, admits
the new rules have made life a lot easier for people who don't have access to a
parking spot. But before making any decisions on next year's plan, Reashor wants
to sit down with the police, public works supervisors, and HRM's communication
team. He says they'll probably meet in the fall to see what worked, what didn't,
and what changes, if any, need to made.
But you don't have to wait until then.
We want to hear from you now. Do
you like The Sequel? Are the new rules working? What changes would you make or
would you bring back the blanket parking ban?
Just leave your ideas in the
comments section and we'll pass them on to city hall.