Signs of a West Shore winter blast are fast disappearing, for now. But the recent need for snowplows on Langford streets pushed a few issues into the spotlight.
With vehicles parked on the road’s edge or left partially in driving lanes, Langford staff and city contractors trying to clear roadways and salt road surfaces found it difficult to do their job.
It’s a scenario that can risk the safety of drivers and others around them, said Michelle Mahovlich, Langford’s director of engineering.
“The City asks that residents park in designated stalls only. For instance, if there are parking scallops or marked-out parking inside the middle of a cul-de-sac, those are the designated
stalls,” she said.
Parking on the road’s edge “inhibits emergency response vehicles and snow-clearing vehicles from driving on your street.”
Snow clearing in Langford is done based on a priority system. Major arteries are cleared first, followed by steep hills then collector roads, school and playground zones, with the lowest priority being local roads.
During prolonged or heavy snowfalls, crews focus on maintaining higher priority roads before attempting to clear lower priority ones.
Owners of vehicles parked on roadways that are blocking or obstructing the path of snow clearing or road salting equipment can be fined or have their vehicle towed – at the owner’s expense.
The illegal parking problem isn’t just limited to winter weather, Mahovlich said. The City is seeing an increasing number of residents disobeying signs and parking in fire lanes and other prohibited areas.
It was especially problematic around the Spencer middle school theatre and other schools in the Sooke School District during recent holiday concerts.
Staff are also recommending that residents limit driving during icy conditions and extreme weather events, or use alternative transportation such as public transit when possible.