Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Parked cars hinder snow-clearing

Residents complain about vehicles not being towed

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Some Winnipeg residents are upset the city hasn't towed vehicles that are in the way of snowplows.

On Wednesday, Winnipeg officials urged residents to move their cars, as vehicles parked in the streets have delayed the plowing operation. If a portion of a zone has not been cleared as scheduled, plows will return once the rest of the snow-clearing operation has been completed.

The city implemented its new snow-zone program in November and initially waived the fee for citizens who were ticketed for not moving their vehicles during the snowstorm cleanup. This time around, Winnipeg pledged to ticket vehicles in violation of the residential parking ban and potentially tow them to a compound.

David Spigelman said he made special arrangements to move his car prior to the 12-hour residential parking ban on Tuesday.

However, he said, there were at least a dozen vehicles parked on Powers Street that were not towed or ticketed.

He said plows cleared half of his street and left a ring of snow around remaining vehicles on the road. "They just made mini-snowbanks in the middle of the street behind cars, which reduces our parking," Spigelman said.

Winnipeg Parking Authority staff need to ticket vehicles before they are towed.

Spigelman said it would make more sense for plows to alert tow trucks to vehicles in violation, so snow-clearing can be finished faster.

City of Winnipeg officials said in an email statement 800 vehicles were towed in the first two snow-clearing shifts on Tuesday. The statement said the city has 12 hours to complete plowing in a given snow zone and crews must plow around vehicles if tow trucks have not arrived to haul them away.

North Kildonan Coun. Jeff Browaty said the city also needs to find a better way to manage plowing when it conflicts with a neighbourhood's garbage and recycling pickup.

Browaty said the window for plowing a large number of residential streets is small, and people are confused about whether or not to put out their automated carts.

"I've asked the department to clarify what happens around garbage days in relation to placing carts and residential plows," he said.

City of Winnipeg officials said snow routes are co-ordinated with the waste-collection schedule as much as possible.

City crews will continue working to try to finish clearing most of the residential streets by this evening.

jen.skerritt@freepress.mb.ca

 

Collisions order of the day on Winnipeg's streets

LIGHT rain on Tuesday night resulted in hundreds of Winnipeg motorists slip-sliding away into collisions throughout Wednesday.

Brian Smiley, a spokesman for Manitoba Public Insurance, said that as of Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., 700 collision claims had been reported by motorists, most of them being rear-end collisions with no injuries, but resulting in thousands of dollars in damage.

Smiley said about 600 of them were reported by Winnipeg motorists.

"Usually, it is a 60/40 split with Winnipeg having the majority, but (Wednesday) we have 90/10 with Winnipeg," he said.

"Motorists were travelling too fast for road conditions... whether it is sleet or blizzard-like conditions, fog or heavy rain, whatever the weather, the key message is to drive to road conditions.

"Speed limits are set to ideal conditions."

Smiley said motorists should have gone slower, left for work earlier and left more room while driving behind other vehicles.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 17, 2013 A2

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