Issues with On-street Parking in Snow Events

The recent snow event (20-30cm over two days) has highlighted problems with keeping our streets clear for emergency vehicles and snow plows.

I suspect that the city’s on street parking (both sides) has been creating frictions between neighbours and challenges for emergency vehicles access for some time now. In fact, since my election to Council it has become one of the top five issues that residents raise with my office. The parking complaints are usually related to abandoned vehicles, driveway blockage in newer neighbourhoods, and challenges navigating corners and turning into driveways.

I have on several occasions asked Fire, EMS to drive through some neighbourhoods where safe clearances appear to be an issue. In some case, the city has installed no parking signs on corners or bends where these large community emergency vehicles had issues clearing them. My fear of an incident where someone was in medical distress and our vehicles could not reach them became a reality in the most recent snow event. The heavy snow fall and double parking delayed an EMS vehicle as they could not get down the street and they had to reroute.

Accordingly, I will be meeting with staff to look at options to ensure safe access to our streets by EMS vehicles and our snow plows during the winter months. Once we have options, I will share with residents to get their feedback.