The City of Edmonton is one step closer to having the ability to implement a city-wide parking ban this winter.
On Monday, city councillors voted 12 to one for administration to prepare a bylaw for the parking ban, which would come into effect after large snow events.
If enacted, this would be the first time the city would have the ability to declare such a ban.
Deputy City Manager Gord Cebryk said residents would be given eight hours’ notice and the ban would follow priority network, starting with arterials first before moving to collectors and residential streets.
Cebryk said residents would be alerted when crews are coming into a neighbourhood and would be notified again when their vehicles can be parked on the streets.
However, during Monday’s debate, several councillors expressed concern over how exactly the ban would work.
“In terms of letting the neighbourhood know we’re coming, [that] seems to be a little bit more complicated.
“I’m just assuming buy-in for this and good behaviour on this will really depend on how we communicate we’re coming in,” said councillor Ben Henderson.
Councillor Bev Esslinger said the ban sounded more like a neighbourhood ban than a city-wide parking ban and expressed concern people won’t know what to do when.
“My worry is we’re going to confuse people. It used to be there’s a parking ban, move your car. Now it’s a parking ban, move your car when it’s your turn,” Esslinger said.
Councillor Scott McKeen said it may be difficult for some residents, in neighbourhoods such as Oliver, to find alternative places to park during a ban and may have to resort to a paid parking lot during a ban.
Cebryk said some areas of the city may have a tougher time accommodating a parking ban but said residents will be able to park on the street again once the ban is lifted in their area.
He further said a cultural and behavioural change is required for a ban to be successful and said the city will use various methods to alert residents.
“We would use all signage methods including the dynamic messages signs, both portable and fixed.
“In the past, for different types of situations, we’ve used everything from dynamic message signs to the reader display boards on buses to indicate when we have a particular event and that can include a snow event,” Cebryk said.
Cebryk stressed that the city wants to avoid having to enforce such a ban and it will be looking for compliance through communication.
The issue will return to council on Oct. 5.
Council further voted to accept the report about the snow and ice strategy, and spokesperson Zak Fairbrother said the vote meant there would be more frequent residential blading this winter while no decision has been made yet on increased cul de sac clearing.
Absent from the discussion was calcium chloride; the anti-icing agent was paused last summer after a narrow vote by city council.
Councillor Mike Nickel asked administration what the calcium chloride policy will be this winter.
Cebryk reiterated what he had previously told media earlier this summer – that there is currently no intention to bring the program back as per direction from council though a report on last winter will be presented to council in the fall.