City developing Know Your Zone app to help Winnipeggers with snow route confusion
WINNIPEG — As winter begins to draw near the city is gearing up for yet another season of parking bans.
On Tuesday morning the annual snow route parking ban will kick into effect.
Vehicles cannot park on designated snow routes between 2 a.m. and 7 a.m. starting Dec. 1.
READ MORE: Snow route parking ban to kick in
But with the potential for five different winter parking bans, the rules can be confusing.
“I can see why people get confused or why it gets tricky for people,” said city councillor Brian Mayes.
The city launched the Know Your Zone residential parking ban campaign in 2011 but since its inception it has been plagued with problems.
From people not knowing what their letter is to plows not clearing the designated streets within the 12-hour allotted window.
“It’s a struggle in Winnipeg in winter,” said Mayes. “(Residents are) told to be out of their area for a particular 12-hour zone and then the plow doesn’t show. We are doing better with that. We redesigned some zones. I spent more time on zone J then I ever had thought I would in my elected life. But we changed the size in some of these zones and we are doing better at that.”
In February, Mayor Brian Bowman announced the city was looking at developing an app where residents would be able to access zones more easily and on the go.
While the city tells Global News that app is currently in development, there is no exact timeline as to when it will be readily available.
Meantime, other major Canadian cities are already using comprehensive maps that include GPS and real time data.
The City of Calgary launched its app back in 2011. It has been downloaded more than 65,000 times.
“You’ll see if the equipment is out there working on the roads or if it’s in the yard,” said city roads spokesperson Brittany Kustra. “If they are out there working they will show up on the map. It’s a really cool way for Calgarians to see exactly what we are doing, what neighbourhoods we are working on and where we are with the snow clearing efforts.”
The roads app also links to the city’s twitter feed, Environment Canada’s weather updates and includes areas and roads that are under construction along with alternate routes.
“When it snows you are able to plan your route around where the plows and sanders are,” said Kustra. You can see constructuon detours, as well as see weather updates and twice daily updates of our snow clearing efforts.”
While the city said the app could be available within the next few months, for now you’ll have to rely on 3-1-1 or the city’s website.
Tickets for violating the annual snow route ban are $100, which can be reduced to $50 if paid early.
© 2015 Shaw Media