Parked cars creating trouble for residential snow clearing: City Councillor

WINNIPEG — A residential parking ban is in effect while City of Winnipeg crews work to clear snow, but according to one city councillor, not everyone is following it.

The City of Winnipeg put a residential parking ban in place on Jan. 7 to allow plows to clear the buildup of slush and snow on side streets.

On the morning of Jan. 8, Chelsea, who didn’t want to give her last name, was one of many people to receive a $150 fine for not moving her car.

“It happens every year, so we aren’t too upset about it,” she said. “We should have been out here moving it earlier.”

Chelsea said she didn’t see the memo but did see the crews working on the next street over. Unlike her neighbours, she moved her car before the tow trucks did.

“It’s been a busy couple of days,” said Brennen Reith, a tow truck driver for Champion Towing. 

Three cars were towed off of Chelsea’s street.

“Usually, if people come out, we tell them where their car is,” said Reith. 

Vehicles are towed a few blocks away to streets that have already been plowed or to streets that aren’t scheduled to be cleared.

Nuisance cars are a big problem, according to City Coun. Markus Chambers.

“This is not our first winter. This is not our first rodeo,” he said. “We know when a residential ban is in place and what our call to action is.”

Chambers said many cars didn’t move in his ward of St. Norbert – Seine River and attributes it to a lack of enforcement in previous years.

“I think they’ve gotten into a place of complacency,” said Chambers, “That they realize that their car isn’t going to be towed, so what’s the point?”

He said when vehicles don’t move, it makes clearing difficult. 

“There are large areas where cars weren’t removed, and as a result, there are still large ridges on the street,” said Chambers.

Chambers said snow left behind creates problems for people with mobility issues or people just wanting to go for a walk.

He says taxpayers don’t feel they get their money’s worth when spots are missed due to parked cars.

Taxpayers, like Danielle Petrie, who was shovelling her sidewalk when the plows went by.

“Do it once, do it right,” she said. “Just move your car so they can do their job.” 

CTV News reached out to the City of Winnipeg about how many cars have been ticketed and towed. It said it won’t release any numbers until the residential ban ends Saturday night. 

Residents can check which streets are being cleared by using the city’s online address lookup tool, downloading the Know Your Zone app, or contacting 311.    

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