Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 27/12/2009 (2796 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
During the next big snowfall, up-to-date information on Winnipeg's snowplowing will be only a click away.
The public will have access to a new web-based system that maps the progress of the big machines that clear snow from streets, city spokeswoman Michelle Bailey said.
The computerized snow-clearing map is already up and running, but it's currently being tested by 311 operators before the public gets a peek. Wide-open access to the map will begin during the next heavy snowfall, Bailey said.
"Being able to provide that information online keeps people less in the dark," she said.
The new map will be similar to the highway map used by the provincial government, she said. With the use of various colours to highlight areas that city crews intend to target, the system will give Winnipeggers more accurate information about if and when their streets will be plowed.
This new information will be particularly welcomed by drivers who park on streets and don't have driveways or garages to stash their vehicles when the city imposes its annual residential-street parking ban, which means they're liable for a $100 fine from the Winnipeg Parking Authority.
Some drivers say it's unfair to ban overnight street-parking for days at a time because they have no other place to park. Since Thursday, 160 warnings, and 200 parking tickets have been issued to Winnipeg residents who have violated the ban.
But with the new online map in place by the next major snowfall, the number of tickets issued could drop dramatically.
The online mapping system could help people determine if their streets have been cleared or are soon to be cleared, Bailey said.
She said that according to the public works department, the chances of snow-clearing machines and the parking authority going back to a site that has already been plowed are nil. This means that the people who park on residential streets can plan accordingly when they have to move their vehicle, without having to comply with every day of the parking ban.
Bailey admits that people parking on residential streets during a parking ban are still liable for tickets.
However, she said that if a ticket was issued to someone after their street had been cleared, that person could come down and argue their case with the city. She said such cases will be assessed individually and the city would deal with each person to "make it fair."
For the next couple of days, however, Winnipeggers who park on the street are going to have to find an alternate place to keep their vehicles. Or if they think their streets have already been plowed, they can call 311 if they want to find out if crews are coming back to their neighbourhoods.
The residential-street parking ban is in effect between midnight and 6 a.m., and will last for three or four nights.