Calgary father fights street-sweeping ticket issued while stopped at school

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Calgary father fights parking ticket issued at school
WATCH: A Calgary father is fighting a parking ticket he was given while stopped at his kids' school to drop them off. As Tomasia DaSilva reports, it happened on street-sweeping day. – May 28, 2024

A Calgary father is fighting the city over a parking ticket he got while he was “briefly stopped” at his children’s school during the community’s street sweeping day on May 15.

“I did not get out of the car,” Tony Ferris told Global News. “The infraction picture clearly shows me still in the running vehicle, in front of the school.”

Ferris said he was dropping off his kids and saw the street sweepers parked a block away. He said they were not out actively cleaning, so he thought they were waiting for school drop-off to be over. He said he then pulled up, his kids got out, and he pulled away.

He was shocked when he got a fine of up to $120 in the mail Tuesday.

“It’s totally ridiculous. How on earth is there not an allowance for dropping kids at school?” he questioned.

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“You figure when they’re doing street sweeping, they should be planning it out fairly well in advance. If they know they’re going into a neighbourhood with a school, you figure they would plan around that.”

Tony Ferris looking at his parking ticket. Tomasia DaSilva

A City of Calgary spokesperson told Global News while they try to schedule and stagger street sweeping times around prime school hours, it’s not always possible.  Todd Sullivan, with Calgary Parking, said the signs and restrictions stand.

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“At all times between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., in the areas covered by the signs, that restriction covers everything,” Sullivan added.

“All areas including schools, no parking, no stopping zones and any other posted restriction within that area. ”

Sullivan added that even when crews are not actively cleaning that doesn’t mean drivers can park where they want, again pointing out that the parking restrictions are independent of the work.

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However, he said the city does try to limit the restrictions and advised motorists do the same.

“We encourage people to be there for as little time as possible. Move as quickly as they can. Take up as little space as they can,” Sullivan said.

Parking tickets issued during spring street-sweeping season

The City of Calgary’s annual street-sweeping campaign runs from mid-April to about mid-June. Signs are put up well in advance in impacted neighbourhoods, warning drivers to be prepared to move their vehicles between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. the day work is scheduled to start.

An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 tickets are expected to be issue this season and Sullivan said some 17,000 have been issued to date.

Ferris wants the city to remove his ticket from that number.

“Admit you did something wrong and void the ticket,” he argued. “And just move on.”

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