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City of St. John's stands behind downtown parking ban

Coun. Debbie Hanlon speaks to reporters Monday at St. John’s City Hall.
Coun. Debbie Hanlon - David Maher

Coun. Debbie Hanlon says the ban is a pilot project that will be reviewed

Coun. Debbie Hanlon says the city will stand by the Water Street and Duckworth Street parking ban for this winter and let it inform next year’s version of the ban.
Complaints about the parking ban have been frequent on social media, with people questioning why the ban has to be in effect seven days a week, even when there’s no snow on the ground.

Some have suggested the ban should be in effect only when snow is on the ground. That would require the city to institute a notification system of when bad weather is approaching, so residents and workers can move their cars ahead of a storm.

Hanlon says that idea just isn’t going to work.

“We’ve been a month promoting and publishing everywhere we can. We’ve been flyering cars, putting messages out, brochures, signs, social media, big flashing signs, and the message is still not getting through because cars are still being towed,” Hanlon said.

“How would people expect us to get the word out that there’s a storm coming to get the cars off the street? It’s just not practical.”

Prior to this weekend, 29 cars had been towed, according to Hanlon.

Each ticket carries a $250 fine, with $25 added every day a vehicle stays with the city.

That money goes back to the towing company hired to do the job, not to the city, says Hanlon.

“We’re in Newfoundland, not Disneyland. Snow will come,” said Hanlon.

Looking ahead to what next year may hold for residents and workers on Water Street and Duckworth Street, Hanlon says it’s too early to say what will happen based on the results seen this year.

“We’ll take the information that we gather, engage as many stakeholders and as many people. The more people that contact us and get engaged, the better,” Hanlon said.

“Once we have the pilot project completed, then we’ll evaluate that and come back with suggestions for next year. Right now, we don’t have the data.”

Twitter: DavidMaherNL

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