A neighbour ran up to me tonight as we picked up our kids from the local out of school care. "Did you get my message?" he said. I dug out my cell phone. Missed call. "I saw you on TV last night, and I thought you should know that the City was ticketing everyone along Fraser..." He went on to tell me that he was head-shaking mad that the by-law officers were out in full force today.
I caught a news item on the 5pm news about the effort. Too bad for those guys, I thought. The snow and ice made it impossible to park on side streets and now even the major thoroughfares.
Then this evening I spotted a story on the newswire about the City of Winnipeg. They, too, began ticketing citizens whose cars were stuck on snowy streets. But they decided to forgive all those tickets because they had not given sufficient public notice and posting it on the city's website.
So now I'm thinking, the City of Vancouver sicks their by-law officers onto drivers who either can't move their cars without the help of a tow truck, or can't park within a few feet of the curb because of the iceberg wedged beside it. I'm beginning to think my neighbour (who wasn't ticketed by the way, but runs a delivery business) had cause to be upset.
Has the City of Vancouver issued any bulletin that this was going to happen? The last weather update makes no mention of ticketing. I know that our critics will say, well you should assume this. But this extreme weather has everyone improvising a lot these days. Maybe Vancouver's quasi-productive communications team needs to let us know when mass ticketing programs are underway.
By the way, if you check out the City of Winnipeg's website, here are some amazing stats for a city much smaller than Vancouver. Their annual budget for snow removal is $6 million, about three times that of Vancouver. Here are the stats on what they have accomplished so far:
- RESIDENTIAL STREETS - 85% complete.
- BACK LANES - 83% complete.
- SIDEWALKS - Priority I: 100%; Priority II: 100%; Priority III: 98% complete
- Sanding of streets is ongoing to improve traction on the roadways and will continue around-the-clock.
- Plowing of sidewalks on residential streets will continue until completed.
These are jaw-dropping accomplishments for early January. But these guys are good at winter.