Friday, Dec. 9, 2016 (Halifax, NS) – With winter weather upon us, the municipality is reminding residents that when and where you park can have a big impact on snow clearing. The municipal overnight winter parking ban will be in effect again this year starting on Thursday, Dec. 15, and continuing until Mar. 31, 2017.
As in previous seasons, the ban will be enforced between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m., only during declared snow and ice events and extended clearing operations. Residents are encouraged to plan ahead when snow is in the forecast and secure off-street parking for when the overnight parking ban is enforced.
To help ensure the streets are properly cleared, the municipality has enhanced its winter parking enforcement in areas around hospitals and schools, bus routes and problem streets for snow equipment and emergency vehicles.
Officers will also be ticketing vehicles obstructing sidewalk clearing. Vehicles hanging out of a driveway or parked on the sidewalk are prone to damage and become a dangerous obstacle for crews. Such obstacles prevent crews from clearing the sidewalks properly, which can quickly become an accessibility issue for pedestrians, including seniors, people with mobility issues and parents pushing strollers.
Planters, lawn decorations and any other objects near the sidewalk should be removed before the winter season. Items such as sports equipment and garbage bins should be safely stored when bad weather is in the forecast. Any permanent structures or objects too big to move should be marked with a reflector that will be visible above the snow to help crews identify obstacles.
The easiest way to stay informed of the overnight parking ban is to sign up for automated notifications. Register online at www.halifax.ca/snow/parkingban/notifications.php, call 311 or email email@example.com. Subscribers will receive timely alerts by phone, email, and/or text message when the ban is in effect and again when it is lifted. Standard text messaging rates apply.
Residents who received these notifications last winter will continue to receive the service this year. Subscribers are encouraged to update their contact information if they have recently changed service providers, phone numbers or email addresses. Account updates can be made online by clicking here or by calling 311.
Weather conditions and snow clearing operations will determine how long an overnight parking ban will be enforced, as it may extend for more than one night. In addition to automated notifications, the municipality will issue public service announcements to alert residents and business owners when the ban will be enforced and when it has been lifted. Timely information will also be posted online at www.halifax.ca/snow and via the municipality’s Twitter account, @hfxgov. Residents can also call 311 for up-to-date information.
The municipality wants to remind residents that Section 139 of the Motor Vehicle Act also requires that people remove their vehicles from the streets, day or night, in the event of a snow or ice event or ongoing clearing operations. Vehicles obstructing snow removal or winter maintenance operations can be removed at the owner’s cost, regardless of the time or date.
To help avoid a ticket and the hassle and costs of being towed, residents should ask themselves these four questions when considering parking on the street this winter:
- Is the overnight parking ban currently being enforced?
- Is your vehicle causing a safety issue?
- Is it making the road impassable?
- Is it impeding snow operations underway in the area?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, do not park on the street. The municipality doesn't want to ticket or tow — the objective is to keep people off the streets in the first place to facilitate efficient and safe clearing to ensure emergency vehicles, buses and other traffic have proper access.
Think before you park this winter — it will help make the season a little easier on everyone. For more information on municipal winter operations, please visit www.halifax.ca/snow.