New Calgary street cleaner alerts leave some angry, poorer

As crews rotate through Calgary to pick up the rubble of winter, residents might need a keener eye to spot the warnings now placed only at the entrance to communities.

City has changed the system so signs are placed only at the entrance to communities

Calgarians will have to watch for signs at the entrance to their communities this spring, rather than smaller signs spread around the area in past years. (Dave Gilson/CBC)

As crews rotate through Calgary to pick up the rubble of winter, residents might need a keener eye to spot the warnings and move their cars. 

Chris McGeachy, a spokesperson with Calgary Roads, says the community entrance signs were redesigned last year to make them more visible, and the smaller "no parking" signs are being used mostly in the downtown core this year.

Those signs are used when on-street parking bans are in place, which means a Calgary Parking Authority officer and tow truck are dispatched so cars can be towed.

"The reality is we don't have the resources to send out officers and ticket and tow in every community," said McGeachy. "What we're trying to do is we're trying to get people to move their cars when they see the signs."

Anger at ticket

Roger Dunkley, who lives in the northwest community of Parkdale, was less than pleased when he was ticketed recently after the sweepers swept through. 

"You didn't give us any warning, there were no signs here, you just show up and start cleaning the street and then you ticket us 80 bucks?" he said. 

In past years, says Dunkley, "no parking" signs were put up every few houses along his street, but he didn't spot one of the new signs this year. 

"I work out of my home," he said. "I don't leave the neighbourhood every day."

Mobile enforcement and fines

More than 19,000 street sweeping tickets have been handed out so far this season, compared with just over 12,000 last year. 

That's helped by the fact the parking authority is doing it's own sweep of neighbourhoods with camera-mounted, mobile-enforcement vehicles prior to the street cleaners. 

Tickets for not moving a vehicle are $120, but that's knocked down to $80 if paid within 10 days and $90 if paid within 30 days. 

You can see which streets have been swept already and which are due for sweeping on the city's interactive online map.

With files from Jennifer Lee


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