Temple residents confused over cul-de-sac parking tickets

WATCH: Some residents of a northeast Calgary community was surprised and confused after waking up to a slew of parking tickets. Homeowners say they’ve been parking at an angle in their cul-de-sac for years. As Adam MacVicar reports, a little-known bylaw is behind the infractions.

Noelle Wills has lived on Templevale Place N.E. in Calgary’s Temple neighbourhood for 15 years, with her and neighbours parking at an angle in front of their homes in the cul-de-sac.

But on Tuesday, Wills and her neighbours were surprised to see that 10 vehicles in the cul-de-sac were ticketed for not being parked parallel to the curb.

“Seems like a cop came by and issued tickets to everybody,” Wills said.

But the Calgary Parking Authority has no history of tickets or complaints being issued on Wills’ street.

According to Wills, all the neighbours on her street are in agreement when it comes to parking at an angle in the cul-de-sac to accommodate the amount of vehicles in the area.

READ MORE: Solution proposed to allow for angle parking in Calgary cul-de-sacs

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“We’ve talked to all of the neighbours, and we still have not had an answer,” Wills said. “Nobody has said they made a complaint or a call or anything like that; so we don’t know.”

It turns out, it was a Calgary police officer who issued the tickets due to complaints about angle parking in cul-de-sacs throughout the Temple community.

“The bylaw tickets issued by the Calgary Police Service on July 30 were the result of ongoing citizen concerns about angle parking in cul-de-sacs in the community,” CPS said in a statement to Global News. “Road safety is one of the focuses for the service; this includes safety for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users [and] other vehicles, as well as access for emergency services.”

The Calgary Parking Authority said a CPS officer issuing this kind of ticket is rare, but police are well within their right to issue tickets.

“We know in a lot of cases, they might be angle parking and everyone is fine with it. In those cases, we largely stay away and let the community figure it out,” said Todd Sullivan, an enforcement support co-ordinator with the Calgary Parking Authority. “If a police officer rolls through and decides that what’s going on in that area is not safe, they have the ability to write those tickets as well.”

According to Wills, it’s the first time vehicles were ticketed for angle parking on her street, and she was told the neighbourhood would need to apply to put up a sign indicating angle parking is allowed.

“Unless you’ve got special permission, and signage from the City of Calgary roads department, you do need to parallel park with the curb,” Sullivan said.

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But Wills said that option is unafforable.

“It’s a $70 administration fee just to get them to do the paperwork and get them to come out and assess if they want to install the signs or not,” Wills said. “If they do want to install the signs, it’s $2,300 plus GST. That is put on us.”

READ MORE: Little-known Calgary parking bylaw surprises cul-de-sac homeowners

Wills said she and her neighbours tried to parallel park their vehicles, but there just wasn’t enough room on the street.

“One neighbour has three vehicles — we have two — and when you park them, you’re taking up two houses for two vehicles,” Wills said. “It’s not justifiable. It doesn’t make sense.”

According to the Calgary Parking Authority, angle parking designated by city signage is on less than five per cent of cul-de-sacs in Calgary, and the rules are in place to ensure proper access for emergency and waste removal services.

The Calgary Parking Authority also pointed out that the bylaw applies to every city street and is not specific to just cul-de-sacs. Posted signs are not required.

Wills and other residents on Templevale Place are in the process of appealing the tickets.