Parking woes in Halifax as Gottingen Street undergoes transformation

Plenty of drivers being ticketed, towed in enforcement of new Gottingen Street bus corridor
WATCH: The transformation of Gottingen Street has caught several drivers by surprise as the municipality has started enforcing tow-away zones during peak traffic times. As Alicia Draus reports, the signs are clear – but not everyone is listening to the message.

Drivers who park their vehicles on Gottingen Street during peak hours may come back to an unpleasant surprise: no car at all.

Gottingen Street is being transformed from a two-lane road to a three-lane road. The extra lane is designated for buses, and only allows parking during non-peak hours.

READ MORE: Construction on Gottingen Street priority bus lane to begin Wednesday

“As soon as any of the regulatory signage is up, those rules do take effect,” said Nick Ritcey with the municipality.

“So if it says no parking in that area, there is no parking in the area.”

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In addition to the no parking signs, there are tow away zone signs. Already, tow trucks are a daily sight in the area.

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Once a vehicle has been attached to the tow truck, it will cost a driver $140 to get it back. Once towed away, drivers will have to fork over at least $20 for every day their vehicle is impounded.

“It’s going to be a high traffic, high volume area, so we really ask people to respect and obey the new laws,” said Ritcey.

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Those new laws are already creating some headaches for businesses. Street parking has been removed completely from the west side of the street. It’s one of the reasons the North End Business Association was advocating against the change.

“I think that’s going to be a challenge, whether its service trucks, whether it’s emergency vehicles, whether it’s residential moving trucks, along with business loading, and unloading,” said Patricia Cuttell, the association’s director.

READ MORE: N.S. woman says she was forced to wheel down busy street due to construction

But not everyone has received that message either. Nearly every day, at least a few cars or trucks have parked on the southbound side, blocking the lane and forcing vehicles into oncoming traffic to get around.

“It is going to take people awhile to learn the new rules of the road,” said Cuttell.

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In the meantime, Ritcey says there is a street team handing out information cards to businesses in the area and promoting the new rules on social media.

“We’ve been talking about it since early 2018. It’s not a surprise to anyone in the area that it’s happening,” said Ritcey.

Enforcement is being enhanced during peak areas and vehicles found disobeying the posted signs can be ticketed or towed.