Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Mayor plugged out

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It's nice that Mayor Sam Katz has sympathy for homeowners who want to run extension cords across the street to their cars, but his judgment is lacking on this issue.

The mayor says he was surprised to discover some people have been ticketed for the offence, and he has asked the city to find a solution for people who say they have no place to put their car at night.

Winnipeg can be a tough place to live, but electrical cords do not belong on city sidewalks or streets. They are dangerous to pedestrians and a peril for snow-clearing crews. The city would also be liable for injuries to pedestrians.

A single complainant says he must park on the street because windrows in his back lane are an obstacle to moving his car.

This is a common problem that requires homeowners to do extra shovelling, or take other precautions to ensure they have access to their vehicle.

Car owners are already required to remove their vehicles from the street on snow-clearing days. The fact some motorists may not have a parking place is not an excuse; nor is the complaint that extension cords should be allowed on the street when back lanes are unploughed, or because there's only room for one car in the garage.

The law against extension cords has been in place for more than 40 years. It might be inconvenient when the weather turns ugly, as it has this year, but it is necessary for the safety of all.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien, Shannon Sampert, and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 7, 2014 A10

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