The “bluff is over:” city set to ticket and tow

Tyler Clarke
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The soft approach isn’t working, so from here on city crews will begin ticketing and towing problem vehicles.


City Hall

“We wanted to give the residents all sorts of opportunity to comply, but I think we’ve said it enough over the last couple years that when the signs go up you have to get off the street,” Mayor Greg Dionne concluded on Friday.

“Now I think it’s time we need to step up the action, and started to ticket and tow.

“It’s going to be a lot stricter … It’s now time we stepped up to the plate and say … the bluff is over, and now we’re going to do it.”

Dionne’s comments come after a frustration-fueled city council meeting earlier in the week, during which the city’s elected officials lamented residents hampering of city snowplowing efforts.

During city council’s last meeting of the year this week, Coun. Lee Atkinson noted that parked vehicles have created a safety concern in his ward.

Although he commended crews with doing a “great job” of snow removal, “they can’t do a good job where cars don’t move. Signs were up a day in advance, cars parked next to them, they were ignored, and our street that’s very narrow, these different elevations narrow the street even more.”

Citing a vehicle on 15th Avenue East buried in snow and stranded with a flat tire for “weeks on end,” Coun. Martin Ring agreed that penalization is the way to go.

“That’s pretty upsetting to know that’s a major street in our city and I’m sure that bylaw’s passed it about a million times and not done anything,” Coun. Tim Scharkowski said.

On top of ignoring “No parking/ snow removal” signs, the owner of this vehicle is contravening a city bylaw that dictates vehicles not park once a city street for more than 48 hours at a time.

With snow removal the most brought-up and complained-about item that the city’s elected officials deal with each winter, Coun. Ted Zurakowski concluded that enough enough.

“It is time to tow and ticket when we put up signage for snow removal,” he said. “It’s time. That’s what were hearing from residents and we’re hearing from council.”

Although Mayor Greg Dionne argued that a $10 ticket is little deterrent, public works director Colin Innes noted that whatever costs related to the towing of vehicles are also placed on the vehicle owner.

After several minutes’ worth of the city’s elected officials venting snow-removal frustrations, Innes said that administration received their message, loud and clear.

“My understanding is that you want to ticket and tow, so that’s the direction I’ve given my staff,” he said.

“Let’s get the kinks worked out of it and get on with it.”

Geographic location: 15th Avenue East

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Recent comments

  • Ian H.
    December 13, 2013 - 21:14

    I applaud the city's decision to uphold the bylaw.