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Burning question: Why wasn’t a snow route parking ban called in the last Calgary snowfall?

Ward 14 Coun. Peter Demong asked a burning question in the mind of many Calgarians after the most recent heavy snowfall.

What wasn’t a snow route parking ban called by the city?

Coun. Demong asked during question period at Tuesday’s public hearing meeting of council.

Later, he told LWC that he’d been quizzed himself by ward residents.

“I actually had several constituents contact me and say, ‘When we’ve got a giant snow like this, why wouldn’t we just call the snow parking ban,’” Demong said.

“My answer was, ‘well, generally speaking, I don’t want to call it because, for starters, I don’t want to spend the money to do it.”

Demong said, however, he wasn’t for or against it from a snow removal perspective.

“I try to leave that to the experts that are responsible,” he said.

“They have far more knowledge about what’s happening around the city and whether we need a parking bed or not.”

The City of Calgary operates a priority snow plan that ensures major routes are clear while the snow is still falling. When the snow stops, they activate their snow plan and within 36 hours they are to have priority one and two routes cleared.

Demong said the job done by City of Calgary mobility crews was admirable. Still, many citizens posted online (and are still posting online) problem areas that weren’t cleared and hampered accessibility.

“Could it have been better? Everything can always get better,” Demong said.

So, why no snow route parking ban?

According to Calgary.ca/snow, the city will determine a parking ban based on snow amount, road temperature, weather forecast and road conditions.

They usually provide a day or two notice before a parking ban begins. They’re usually called at the 18-hour mark after a snowfall has ended.

Troy McLeod, Director of Roads for the City of Calgary said the snow route parking ban is just one tool in the snow and ice control plan.

“During the storm, we received over 35 centimetres, but we don’t base it only on snowfall or forecast,” he said.

“It is also a function of the capacity of those routes, as well as looking at the future forecasts. We had a warming trend.”

McLeod said those were some of the factors included in the decision. Along with that, there’s an inconvenience to residents with the parking ban.

If a snow route parking ban is called, cars must be removed or risk receiving a ticket. Parking bans are typically in effect for 72 hours or when the City declares it’s over.