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Parked cars can now be towed if left on snow routes in Black Diamond

Black Diamond residents who don't move their car during snow plowing risk being towed this winter.
WW-Black Diamond Snow Removal BWC 5247 web
Town of Back Diamond public works crews remove built up snow from a residential street on Jan. 15, 2020.

Cars must be moved when snowplows hit the streets this winter in Black Diamond.

Town council approved a motion to allow peace officers to have cars towed when they are left on snow maintenance routes during snow plowing.

The town will provide 24-hour notice prior to snow removal and it will be up to residents to have their cars off the streets, said Black Diamond CAO Sharlene Brown.

“Now what we would do, depending on the situation and the amount of snow, these maintenance routes, instead of just being attached to a policy, are attached to our traffic bylaw, which actually allows our peace officers the authority when necessary, and only if necessary, to tow cars that are parked on the roadway in the event of a snowstorm and we need their car moved and there is no one there to move it," she said.

Town workers will evaluate the need for towing on a case-by-case basis, Brown said.

Temporary signs will be placed on maintenance routes 24 hours ahead of plowing and there will be notices placed on the Town’s social media sites.

In the past, when cars were left on the street during snow removal, workers would try to find the owner and ask them to move the car or they would plow around the car.

Brown said when cars are parked on the side of the road the plows cannot do a good job.

“It’s not effective road clearing, she said. “Imagine if you are driving a grader and your blade is 20 feet wide and you have a car parked. You have to turn the blade, you have to move the snow around the car, you are going to windrow the car in and you are going to have cut the blade back and move the car forward again.”

All of the Towns former priority street routes are now maintenance routes and Riverwood Crescent and Willow Ridge Manor have been added as they are busy feeder routes for communities in the area, said Brown.

There will continue to be a priority on providing access to important areas in town, she said.

“We need to make sure the bus routes are clear for access to those particular facilities (schools),” she said. “We need to make sure access to the hospital is sufficient and clear. We need to make sure our downtown, even though Volker Stevin does our downtown, the windrows that the highway vehicles leave need to also be cleared to ensure access to our business community.”

Access to the medical centre and fire hall are also a priority, she said.

Residents risk getting stuck when they leave their cars parked on the side of road during road plowing, she added.

“If you can’t move your car in high accumulations of snow, it is going to get buried,” Brown said.

Okotoks and Calgary have similar policies, she said.

If Black Diamond and Turner Valley amalgamate, the snow clearing policy will be reviewed again, said Brown.

About the Author: Darlene Casten

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