Armstrong tackles parking issues

Problem parking, particularly during the city’s annual Interior Provincial Exhibition (IPE), has Armstrong council contemplating changes.

The city’s current traffic and parking regulation bylaw was adopted 15 years ago in 1999 which states that when it comes to obstructing traffic, “no driver shall stop, stand or park a motor vehicle upon a roadway or lane in such a manner to obstruct the free passage of traffic on the roadway or lane or opposite another motor vehicle.”

The distance between the motor vehicles had to be less than 4.9 meters of travelling surface of the roadway or lane.

“Parking on some streets during the IPE continues to be a challenge for bylaw enforcement,” said chief financial officer Terry Martens.

While adding “No Parking” signs during the event has helped, Martens said enforcement of the bylaw for vehicles that are partially obstructing traffic is difficult due to a lack of clarity in the regulation.

The current bylaw is good for vehicles parked on side streets, but Martens said enforcement becomes difficult when vehicles are parked on streets that have centre lines and the vehicles are blocking a lane of traffic.

“There are no streets with centre lines in the city that have sufficient space for parking where traffic does not need to cross the centre line to pass parked vehicles, except for streets that have designated parking spaces,” said Martens.

A new parking bylaw amendment proposed by staff suggests prohibiting parking on streets that have centre lines except in designated parking spaces.

“The bylaw would be clearer and more defendable if towing or ticketing were necessary,” said Coun. John Trainor.

Currently, the city fine for a parking offence is $100, though it’s reduced to $50 if the fine is paid within 30 days.

If someone’s car is towed, the owner of the vehicle is responsible for towing and impound charges.

The amended bylaw would read that no driver shall stop, stand or park a vehicle on a roadway with a centre line except in designated parking spaces.

Nor shall they stop, stand or park on a roadway without a centre line in such a way to obstruct the free passage of traffic or opposite another motor vehicle such that the distance between the motor vehicles leaves less than five metres of travelling surface of roadway.

Council passed three readings of the bylaw amendment unanimously, though Coun. Ryan Nitchie was absent from the meeting.

The amendment still needs final adoption.


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