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Calgary neighbourhood questions why more than a dozen cars were towed from street

Click to play video: 'Calgary residents question entire street being towed' Calgary residents question entire street being towed
WATCH ABOVE: Residents of a Calgary neighbourhood are demanding answers after their vehicles vanished overnight. Tomasia DaSilva reports. – Nov 16, 2020

Some residents of a Calgary neighbourhood want answers as to why more than a dozen vehicles were towed overnight — and without warning.

Alysha Armanious Bulmer had two vehicles removed from a nearby street in the northeast community of Cornerstone, and she’s not happy about it.

“At first we thought it was a heist,” Armanious Bulmer said. “We thought everybody’s car was stolen.”

Residents soon found out the vehicles had not been stolen — rather towed.

“The first thing we did was phone the police and the impound lot to try and figure out why we were towed and where our car ended up.”

Calgary street where more than a dozen vehicles were towed. Global News

Armanious Bulmer finally tracked down her vehicles, but she said tracking down answers has been more difficult.

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“They did not have an explanation for us when we got to the impound lot,” she said. “It’s just absolutely unacceptable. I’d be very interested to learn, in their business practices, where a company can go and take vehicles off the street that are parked legally with no warning.”

Watch: ‘Not in my backyard’: Why a group of Calgary homeowners say their neighbours are too close for comfort

Global News reached out to the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) with those questions. In a statement, the CPA’s manager of parking safety and compliance, explained what led to the vehicles being towed.

“The decision to tow was made following numerous resident complaints and to ensure parked vehicles were not impeding the flow of traffic,” Guy Gusdal said.

“Vehicles were towed validly along 128 Avenue N.E. from Skyview Ranch Road to Cornerstone Boulevard N.E. under Section 77(1)(b) of the Traffic Safety Act of Alberta because they impeded the flow of traffic.”

Calgary community where more than a dozen vehicles were towed. Global News

Armanious Bulmer refuted that and said while there was a warning to residents, it was not in her neighbourhood.

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“We have since learned that there was a notice given to a community two kilometres west of us indicating that they may be towed at some point if they continue to park in a certain way,” she said.

The CPA said there was no mix-up as alleged. However, it also said that “given the dynamic needs of the community, the towing and storage costs are being reimbursed to vehicle owners as a courtesy.”

As of Monday afternoon, Armanious Bulmer had not received any notice of any reimbursement. She also said there were other costs involved that the parking authority hadn’t offered to refund.

“The towing fees alone were $260 and I had two vehicles affected,” she said. “And if you do the math and include things like the Uber or transportation to go to the impound lot and then include things like lost wages for missing work — it really adds up.”

Impound bill for one vehicle towed in the community of Cornerstone. Global News

Watch: Calgary looks to solve residential parking permit problems

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Armanious Bulmer has launched an online campaign calling for answers. She also wants adequate signage for her street and an assurance that her neighbours won’t be subjected to this again.

“This is not over simply with a refund and the apology,” she said. “There’s a much deeper issue here.”

Area councillor George Chahal has also committed to working with the residents to ensure they’re compensated.

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