Editor’s note: After publishing, the city clarified it does not anticipate moving to Phase 2 of the parking ban at this time.
As has become tradition after Edmonton’s first big snowfall of the season, a parking ban will soon come into effect Tuesday evening — but how it works could be different this year if enough of the white stuff builds up.
This is the first season the City of Edmonton may put into practice a new two-phase parking ban, which was announced last year but never declared due to a lack of snow.
Here’s how it will work:
- Phase 1: Arterial and collector roads, bus routes (roads marked with seasonal no parking signage) and business improvement areas are cleared. Drivers may continue to park on their residential street during Phase 1
- Phase 2 (begins after Phase 1): Residential and industrial roads are cleared. Drivers may park in their driveway, in a parking space on a neighbours’ property with their permission, or on any road cleared during Phase 1 where parking is allowed normally
Phase 1 will begin on Tuesday at 7 p.m. and is anticipated to last about 48 hours.
“It’s the first major snow event of the season,” said Parks and Roads Services Infrastructure Operations general supervisor Andrew Grant.
“The Phase 1 parking ban will ensure we can keep Edmontonians moving on our major roadways.”
As of mid-Monday morning, the city did not expect to have to move to Phase 2.
“We want to give the residential areas an opportunity to set up some of the ice pack — in order to give our teams something to work with, in order to groom and maintain that five-centimetre snow pack,” Grant said.
If a decision was made to clear residential and industrial roads, Phase 2 could take anywhere from seven to nine days, according to the city. In each phase, residents will be allowed to park on the streets again once they have been cleared.
Vehicles parked on Phase 1 routes after 7 p.m may be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense.
Crews and equipment will be working 24 hours a day until Phase 1 roads are clear, the city said.
The city also reminded drivers that parking is allowed on roads as soon as they have been cleared, as long as parking is allowed there normally.
EPark zones are not active during Phase 1 of the parking ban while these areas are cleared, the city added.
A snowfall warning declared by Environment Canada over the weekend remained in effect Tuesday, and the national weather agency said between 10 and 35 centimetres of the white stuff could accumulate by end of day.
In addition to the heavy snowfall, strong northerly winds with gusts of up to 70 km/h will develop over portions of central Alberta Tuesday morning and continue for most of the day. Visibility may be reduced in blowing snow.
Between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday, 88 collisions were reported to Edmonton police, 14 of which were hit-and-run crashes. Three resulted in injuries.
No numbers were available for overnight into Tuesday, however EPS said for the morning commute between 5:30 and 9:30 a.m., there 14 crashes — three of which were hit and runs and none involved injuries, as far as police were aware.
Anthony Henday Drive, between the 127 Street and 97 Street exits, was briefly closed Tuesday morning after a semi-truck is jackknifed across several lanes.
The city said this year during snow clearing, Edmonton streets will be tackled on a priority basis. Priority 1 roads include arterial roads and business improvement areas. These are cleared within 36 hours of the end of snowfall, according to the city.
“Our crews have been out battling this storm since early yesterday,” Grant said on Tuesday. “We have all available resources on deck out, working through our priority ones and active pathways and our roadway districts.”
Priority 2 includes collector roads and bus routes, and are cleared within 48 hours. Grant said contractors will be called in, starting Tuesday night, to help city crews get the job done.
“We’re anticipating that to probably take two or three nights to complete all of our our priority two roadways.”
Priority 3 include industrial roads, which are cleared to bare pavement standard within five days, and rural roads, which are maintained to a level snowpack within five days following the end of snowfall.
Priority 4 are residential roads and alleys, which are cleared once a five-centimetre snowpack has formed. These roads are not cleared to bare pavement.
Residents are encouraged to make a plan for where they are going to park when a ban comes into effect. People can sign up on the City of Edmonton’s website to receive an email alert when a parking ban is declared.
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The city will provide more details at a news conference later in the morning.
— With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News