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Snow Route parking bans FAQ

Background | Process | Signage | Parking | Exceptions | Communication | Enforcement

Background

  1. What is a snow route parking ban?
  2. When does The City call parking bans?

1. What is a snow route parking ban?

A snow route parking ban is a temporary parking restriction that can be put into effect on roads that are designated as snow routes. Parking bans are intended to support plowing operations. Crews are able to clear snow more effectively and efficiently when they don’t have to work around parked cars. Snow routes include major roadways, collector roads and most bus routes, and are marked by blue signs with a white snowflake. Check out the map to see specific snow route locations.

2. When does The City call parking bans?

The City can call a parking ban when roads need to be cleared of snow or ice; however, parking bans are generally reserved for the few days each year when there is a significant accumulation of snow throughout the city. Parking bans are declared by the Roads Operations Centre.

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Process - How snow route parking bans work

  1. What is the process for calling a parking ban?
  2. How long will snow route parking bans be in effect?
  3. If one area of the city gets a lot of snow, but another area doesn’t, are the snow route parking bans still in effect city-wide?
  4. My street has been plowed. Can I park my car on the road again?
  5. What will happen to vehicles if they are not moved from a snow route during a parking ban?
  6. What will happen to my vehicle if I am out of town and a snow parking ban is put in effect?
  7. Can I still put my waste and recycling bins on the street if I live on a snow route and a parking ban has been declared?
  8. What happens if I move my car and the snow gets plowed onto my sidewalk?
  9. How do I report vehicles that are parked on a snow route during a ban?

1. What is the process for for calling a parking ban?

If a significant amount of snow has accumulated on City streets, The City will announce through the media and  other channels that a parking ban will be implemented in the next 1-2 days. The advisory encourages Calgarians to be proactive and remove their vehicles from the street before a parking ban goes into effect.

The City will typically follow this process:

  1. Parking ban advisory - The City will issue an advisory through local news, email notification, the Road Conditions app, and social media channels. The advisory is intended to notify Calgarians that a parking ban will be implemented in the next 1-2 days. 
  2. Parking ban declaration - The City will declare that a snow route parking ban is in effect for up to 72 hours or until The City declares the ban is lifted. Vehicles must not be parked on snow routes once the ban goes into effect.
  3. Plowing – City streets will be plowed on a continual basis for up to 72 hours after a parking ban has been declared. Vehicles that remain on snow routes during the ban are at risk of being ticketed and towed.
  4. Parking ban lifted – The City will announce through the media when snow route parking bans are lifted and citizens can park on the roads as usual.

2. How long will snow route parking bans be in effect?

Snow route parking bans will be in effect for up to 72 hours. There may be times when parking bans are extended if all the snow has not been cleared from the road.

3. If one area of the city gets a lot of snow, but another area doesn’t, are the snow route parking bans still in effect city-wide?

Yes. When a parking ban is declared, it will be in effect city-wide.

4. My street has been plowed. Can I park my car on the road again?

No. Snow plows often return to the same locations multiple times to ensure the snow is cleared as thoroughly as possible. The parking ban is in effect for up to 72 hours following a declaration. If you are unsure if you can park, check Calgary.ca/snow or call 311 to find out if the snow route parking ban is still in effect.

5. What will happen to vehicles if they are not moved from a snow route during a parking ban?

Vehicles that remain parked on snow routes during a parking ban may be ticketed and towed. See the Calgary Parking Authority website for more information.

6. What will happen to my vehicle if I am out of town and a snow route parking ban is put in effect?

All Calgarians are responsible for moving their vehicles from snow routes when a parking ban is called. If you are going out of town, please ensure your car is not parked on a snow route. Alternatively, ask a friend or neighbour to move your car for you if a parking ban is called. Calgarians should also be aware that currently legislation restricts vehicles from being parked in one location for over 72 hours.

7. Can I still put my waste and recycling bins on the street if I live on a snow route and a parking ban has been declared?

Blue, black and green carts left on the street can interfere with snow clearing operations. Place your cart on the sidewalk or boulevard next to the curb when a parking ban is in effect.

If your cart is picked up from a back lane, put it in the same place as normal. Make sure to leave at least one metre between the cart and surrounding objects such as parked cars.

8. What happens if I move my car and the snow gets plowed onto my sidewalk?

In some cases, excess snow may end up on the sidewalk after plowing. Citizens can call 311 and Roads will evaluate the location and remove the snow from the sidewalk as required.

9. How do I report vehicles that are parked on a snow route during a ban?

Contact Calgary Parking Authority for enforcement.

 

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Signage

  1. If I don’t see a sign identifying the snow route on my street, is it a snow route?
  2. Can I request my street to be added or removed from a Snow Route?

1. If I don’t see a sign identifying the snow route on my street, is it a snow route?

Streets that currently have parking on them will be identified by special signage if they are snow routes. Signage may only be placed on entry points to the route. Roads with only a few entry points will have fewer signs, therefore it is important to check the snow route map if you are unsure if your street is on a snow route.

2. Can I request my street to be added or removed from a snow route?

No. Snow routes are located on priority plowing routes, which are established based on set criteria including traffic volumes and usage. The City monitors roads, including those in new communities, to determine if traffic volumes warrant priority status. Some exceptions to the snow route parking bans have already been made in high density areas with little or no alternatives to on-street parking.

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Parking

  1. If there is a paid parking zone, or I have a residential parking sticker, am I allowed to park on a snow route during a parking ban?
  2. What are my options for finding alternative parking in the city during a snow route parking ban?
  3. Can I park in my back alley during a snow route parking ban?
  4. Am I allowed to park on my front lawn during a snow route parking ban?

1. If there is a paid parking zone, or I have a residential parking sticker, am I allowed to park on a snow route during a parking ban?

No. If a parking ban is declared, the snow route parking ban overrides any “permission” parking. Parking will not be permitted on a snow route for up to 72 hours following the declaration of a snow event. Parking is permitted in regularly designated areas that are not on snow routes.

2. What are my options for finding alternative parking in the city during a parking ban?

Calgarians living and/or working on snow routes are encouraged to find alternate parking in a garage, underground parkade, surface lot or on secondary side streets. Calgary Parking Authority will also provide free overnight parking in their parkades and surface lots during parking bans. Visit Calgary Parking Authority for information on lot locations.

3. Can I park in my back alley during a snow route parking ban?

Parking will be permitted in back alleys during snow route parking bans, as long as:

  • The alley is wider than 6.1 metres and there are no pre-existing parking restrictions in the laneway
  • Vehicles are not parked within 1.5 metres of, or directly across from a driveway or garage
  • Vehicles are not parked within 1 metre of the side of garbage containers
  • A minimum of 3 metres of clearance is maintained on either side of the vehicle to allow others to get through the alley unobstructed. See the traffic bylaw for more information.

4. Am I allowed to park on my front lawn during a snow route parking ban?

No. Front lawns are private property and The City’s Land Use Bylaw states, “vehicles may only be parked in the actual front setback area when the vehicle is located on a driveway or motor vehicle parking stall that is surfaced with asphalt, concrete or similar hard surface”.

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Exceptions

  1. Are there any exceptions to snow route parking bans?
  2. Will handicap on-street parking be impacted during a snow route parking ban?

1. Are there any exceptions to snow route parking bans?

Yes. Snow routes located in Business Revitalization Zones (BRZ) and downtown will be exempt from the snow route parking ban during the day. When a parking ban is declared, parking will be banned in these areas from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. only. Existing parking controls will continue to be in effect at all times. Please refer to the map for more information.

2. Will handicap on-street parking be impacted during a snow route parking ban?

On-street handicap zones located along snow routes will be excluded from the parking ban at all times. Citizens with mobility challenges can apply for a handicap zone in front of their home by following the handicap parking zone and sign process.

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Communication

1. How will Calgarians know if a snow route parking ban has been declared, or when it is finished?

Citizens can find out if parking bans are in effect by:

  • Visiting Calgary.ca/snow
  • Signing up for email alerts.
  • Following @yyctransport​ on Twitter and liking The City of Calgary on Facebook.
  • Calling 311 and listening to the automated message.
  • Watching the local news or listening to The City's traffic radio at 106.5 FM.

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Enforcement

If you have any questions regarding parking enforcement during a parking ban or any other questions about parking enforcement, please contact the Calgary Parking Authority.

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