City charter can’t solve Calgary cul-de-sac angle parking problem: Councillor

Council's current cul-de-sac solution isn't available to all residents

Provincial rules say drivers must parallel park in cul-de-sacs, but many homeowners angle park to create more space.

The city charter that Calgary signed with the province earlier this year may allow for new lower speed limits across the city, but Coun. Shane Keating doesn’t believe it will help with the ongoing cul-de-sac parking issue.

Calgary city council, as well as administration, have spent a lot of time since 2016 trying to deal with the problem of residents receiving parking tickets when they angle park in a cul-de-sac.

The Calgary Parking Authority (CPA) does not actively enforce the rules, although they are obliged to give tickets if a neighbour complains.

LiveWire asked the Calgary Parking Authority for the numbers on cul-de-sac angle parking tickets. A total of 119 were handed out in all of 2016, and that number dropped to 72 in 2017.

Those who do angle park say it allows for more space than parallel parking, which can be difficult to do next to a curved curb.

Keating says it’s a provincial law the CPA is enforcing, and although the newly-signed city charter does give the city more authority over things like speed limits, he doesn’t think the city could apply a blanket solution to cul-de-sacs because they come in so many different sizes.

Council and city administration did come up with a solution for some homeowners who live on a large enough cul-de-sac.

A group of neighbours can pay about $2,300 out of pocket for a review of their area and the erection of signs saying angle parking is legal, if the cul-de-sac meets certain requirements.

Smaller cul-de-sacs may not meet those requirements, because they won’t be large enough to still allow emergency vehicles to enter and turn around.

Coun. Jyoti Gondek inherited the issue when she was elected to council in October 2017. She was bothered by the amount of time and work council was asking administration to go through for a solution.

“Really, there’s only a very small number of neighborhoods that would be able to qualify for what was being presented,” she said.

As a new councillor, Gondek said she was mystified by the problem, but other longer-serving councilors told her it had a lot to do with the tickets people were receiving for parking the way they had always parked.

Keating said one can try to ignore it and say its not a big deal, but it clearly is to those who are getting tickets.

“The whole point of the matter is – is there something out there we can do that’s going to make it better?” he asked, noting he would rather try than not try.

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