Ottawa's new 6-hour parking policy is now in effect

Drivers can now park their cars for up to six hours on weekends and holidays — instead of only three — along some of Ottawa's residential streets.

Residential streets without signs previously had a 3-hour limit

Many of Ottawa's residential streets will be affected by a parking rule change that allows residents to park for up to six hours on holidays and weekends. (Radio-Canada)

Drivers can now park their cars for up to six hours on weekends and holidays along some of Ottawa's residential streets.

The City of Ottawa's parking rule change, which came into effect on Friday, doubled the former three-hour street parking limit during weekends and holidays.

The new rules affect streets in the city without signs that already limit parking.

Prior to the change, for seven days a week, residents who parked on a street between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. could only be stationed there for three hours at a time.

If there was no signage limiting parking, the three-hour parking rule was assumed. Staying longer than the maximum three hours could have cost drivers $60.

The three-hour limit still remains in effect from Monday to Friday, except on holidays.

A sign indicating new parking regulations on the streets of Ottawa on holidays and weekends. The policy took effect on June 1, 2018. (City of Ottawa)

More awareness needed, residents say

The City of Ottawa says that information signs on the new six-hour parking rule will only be posted along "busy" traffic routes.

The municipality will also inform visitors by installing new signs near the "Welcome to Ottawa" tourist signs on Highways 416 and 417, on Highway 7 and on the five interprovincial bridges.

For some residents, the city's information campaign is not enough.

Hintonburg resident Richard Nigro says he wasn't even aware that people could only park for a maximum of three hours on streets with no posted restrictions in the first place.

"If I had not heard it on the radio, I would never have known," Nigro told Radio-Canada.

A response to complaints 

The city said it doubled the time limit because of complaints from residents.

"There were people who received tickets on weekends [because] they had friends and family who were there. They wanted more time," traffic services director Phil Landry told Radio-Canada in a French-language interview. 

Landry added that the city is flexible and will allow residents living on certain streets to voice their concerns about the six-hour rule.

"We can put petitions online for people, if there are problems ... we have a process to make the changes," Landry said. 

"There must be a consensus on the street if they want changes."

With files from Stéphane Leclerc