Changing the City’s Winter Overnight Parking Ban

This March the City will be looking to launch a new pilot project that will change the rules for overnight parking on the streets during the winter. Historically, the City has banned overnight street parking during the winter months to keep the streets clear for snowplows. This can be inconvenient and can often mean additional cost for those without a driveway or an alternative parking location. The heart of the issue is this: we need to keep the streets clear when there’s snow or freezing rain but we also see extended periods of time without much winter weather in Kingston particularly in December and March.

At our meeting next week, City Council will consider a pilot where overnight street parking will only be banned in January and February. In December and March overnight street parking would be allowed unless Public Works issues a temporary ban, such as if the weather forecast calls for 5 or more centimeters of snow, or if there is a freezing rain warning. In that case, Public Works will issue a ban by 3pm and it would take effect from 11pm until 6am the following morning. For this system to work, the City will issue broad communications when vehicles need to be moved off the streets using news releases, social media, and electronic sign boards. If council approves the pilot, it would take effect this March and carry through to next winter as well. For this weather based system to work on a more permanent basis, we all need to work together to stay informed and move our vehicles off the street when needed. I think it’s an approach that makes a lot of sense and I know it will make life easier for many residents.

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