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Calgary councillors zero in on cul-de-sac parking solution

CALGARY — The wheels are in motion to set straight a controversial city parking issue.

Last week, a notice of motion was submitted by three councillors that would open the door to allow residents living in certain city cul-de-sacs to park on an angle — a move currently not allowed under existing bylaws.

“Cul-de-sac angle parking has been happening in the city for years, even decades, without any issue,” said Coun. Shane Keating, one of the three city lawmakers submitting the motion before council next Monday.

“There’s a number of things that can be done to allow this.”

Concerns over parking availability can sometimes prompt cul-de-sac residents to park nose-in, leaving room for more cars than parallel parking, considered the legal way to park.

Provincial laws prevent cities from simply allowing residents to park however they like on municipal streets, Keating said.

However, legislation does give the city the ability to allow angle parking by posting signs stating as such — similar to how municipalities deviate from mandated provincial speed limits by posting their own.

That’s the case in several areas of the city where angle parking is signed, Keating said — citing High Street in McKenzie Towne as an example.

“(The motion) won’t change the bylaw, but it will put in policy a process to allow residents to get signs on their cul-de-sac to allow angle parking,” he said.

Simply posting “angle parking permitted” signs in every one of Calgary’s thousands of cul-de-sacs would not only cost a lot of money, but also present logistical issues where other city bylaws would be in violation — including emergency vehicle access.

If successful, the motion will direct administration to investigate ways of allowing residents to petition the city to sign their cul-de-sac for angle parking.

Last fall, 25 angle-parked cars in cul-de-sacs across several Calgary neighbourhoods were ticketed in an overnight enforcement blitz, angering many.

One such street was Woodmont Green in the southwest community of Woodbine, where every angle-parked car in the driveway-free cul-de-sac was ticketed by parking officers at 2:30 a.m.

“What’s been happening to this point is somebody has called the parking authority and lodged a complaint about angle parking on their cul-de-sac,” Keating said.

“Of course they are obligated to go out and do a double-check just to make sure, and if they are, they give a warning or a ticket.”

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