Street sweeping fines sweep Calgary neighbourhood causing anger and confusion

Some Calgary residents call on city to reverse parking tickets. Tomasia DaSilva

A number of homeowners in a southwest Calgary neighbourhood are fighting city hall after being hit with parking tickets during a recent spring street cleaning blitz.

Bob Steele contacted Global News after learning he and several others in Lakeview were ticketed $120 each for not moving their vehicles back in June.

“I got a ticket. My son got a ticket. My daughter was borrowing my truck — she got a ticket. My neighbour got a ticket and who knows how many others on the street got tickets,” he added. “There were cars all over the place, because we didn’t know.”

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Steele claimed the city didn’t put out signs on his particular street at 58 Avenue S.W. and 37 Street SW, and since that is the street most residents use, they didn’t move their vehicles.

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“(The city) had the signs out for the six years I’ve lived here and so it was really puzzling to me,” he added. “The city needs to do the right thing and recall these tickets.”

If it doesn’t, he said he’s prepared to take the issue to court.

“I didn’t do anything wrong. I parked my car where I always do. And I can’t move it if I don’t know that I need to move it.”

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Lonny Sheldan, who has lived in the neighbourhood for 21 years, also said there weren’t any signs up this time around.

“I’ve paid attention and usually there’s signage up, very visible,” Sheldan said.

“I didn’t see no signs. There were no signs. Somebody dropped the ball on putting signs up on 58th (Avenue) here.”

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Sheldan also doesn’t think he should pay for what he called the city’s “mistake.”

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“It’s not right,” he told Global News. “It’s the principal of it. $120 ok — usually to avoid the hassle you’d just pay it. But it isn’t right.”

Sheldan said he was going to contact the city, while Steele said he had not yet heard back from his area councillor.

“I’m hoping it’s just an error,” Steele added. “Like I say, in years past there has never been a problem. We have a huge alley with lots of room for everybody. I just hope it’s an oversight from the city.”

Global News was told by the city it engages the Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) to suggest the placement of signage within each community. The CPA then verifies each sign in advance of the sweepers entering the community, with signs put out at least 12 hours in advance.

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In a statement, the CPA said: “Our review of the June 15, 2022, Lakeview community sweep indicates all signage was appropriately placed well in advance of the sweep (June 13).”

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Steele and Sheldan remain adamant no signs were visible, and they have this message for officials.

“Do the right thing City of Calgary and reverse these tickets!” Steele said.

Calgarians are encouraged to sign up for email and text notifications to find out when street sweeping is happening in their neighbourhoods.

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