Fewer cars are being left parked on the street during residential snow plowing in Red Deer, so fewer are being ticketed. (Advocate file photo).

Fewer tickets being issued in Red Deer as awareness grows about snow residential plowing

New plowing protocols are getting positive reviews, says official

Fewer parked vehicles are being ticketed on residential streets under Red Deer’s newly revised snow-clearing program, says a city official.

Public works manager Greg Sikora said an average of about 170 tickets were written in each residential snow zone plowed so far for cars that were left on the street.

This is low compared to two years ago, when nearly 3,000 Red Deerians were ticketed for failing to remove their cars from the street during residential snow clearing.

The City of Red Deer had issued 339 tickets as of Monday, and is about a third done its residential plowing. It appears there will be a decrease at the end of the season from the 2,900 tickets issued in 2018 — and even the 2,000 tickets issued in 2017.

This year “is definitely lower than the trends,” said Sikora, who attributes the drop to two factors.

Firstly, the city is “blitzing” the city with snow plowing information.

“We have 10 points of contact,” said Sikora, including Facebook, media advertising, previews in movie theatres and at Red Deer Rebels hockey games.

There are also sign boards on streets, large electric bulletins on commuter roadways, and messages via the city’s automated warning system.

Sikora is hoping even more people will sign up for these on the city’s website so fewer tickets have to be issued in future.

Secondly, there was some public confusion in the past with collector roads (green routes) being cleared on different days than residential streets (grey routes).

Sikora said residents can now check the website and see the exact days collector routes and residential routes are slated for plowing. Details are posted to reddeer.ca/snowzone.

He believes Red Deerians are largely responding positively to a new protocol that removes snow right down to the pavement at a lower “trigger point” for plowing than in the past.

Sikora said this will leave less snowpack to form deep ruts with the freeze-thaw cycle.

Plowing is also being done in residential areas when the snowpack reaches five to 10 centimetres instead of 10 centimetres or more. Sikora said this could mean residential areas get plowed twice each winter.

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