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JTT – Parking rules

Mario Babic

This month, we’ll tackle one of the most ubiquitous gripes faced by the modern man. Whether prince or pauper, PARKING troubles us all. Part II of Edmonton’s bylaw 5590 contains a host of rules (sections 4-47) pertain to a host of rules surrounding how we’re to leave our vehicles unattended on the streets of our fair city. While some downtime should be spent looking through this section, I will break down some of the basic dos and don’ts. To be clear: it is essentially a giant list of Don’ts.

On pain of being fined $50, DON’T:

-          Park on the sidewalk, in a tunnel, on a bridge, in an emergency access zone($150), disabled zone ($250), bus zone, snow route (when announced), at an expired meter($35), a hooded meter, or a pay and display zone without paying ($35), or double park

-          Park within 5 meters of a crosswalk, stop sign, yield sign, intersection, fire hydrant

-          Park within 1.5 meters of garage or private road access

-          Park in an alley – unless a sign permits it, or you’re a commercial vehicle

-          Park on the road if you impede movement, block a door, or approach to fire/police/hospital

-          Parallel or angle park further than 50 cm from the curb

-          Angle park if your vehicle is longer than 5.8 meters

None of us can ignore the letter of the law. Unless of course we have deep enough pockets to flaunt the bylaws openly, a very good friend in the City’s parking administration department, or a job with the City which includes an official vehicle – they’re exempt from the above.

There are many no parking zones, but few no stopping zones. Any cessation of vehicular movement in a no stopping zone is grounds for an immediate fine. No parking zones, idle all day. This is slightly curtailed by the anti-idling bylaw now in force, but it only applies in participating school and hospital zones when the temperature is above zero. And even then you have five minutes of idling time. The broad exceptions and lax enforcement of this bylaw make it somewhat of a paper tiger.

Lastly, all of these rules apply to public (City) property, and not to private parking lots. Private lots are a different matter entirely, as parking there without payment constitutes a trespass. They can tow your vehicle to compel payment of fines, but in practice only do that once the fines have risen to a significant amount. Since they’re more interested in your money than your anger, you’re most likely to get ineffective letters asking you to pay. Ignore them at your peril, which some would say is safe to do if you don’t plan on parking there much. If you’re more risk averse, feel free to call them to negotiate a reduction. I should mention the University is one of the more notorious private entities this applies to, except they bundle these fines with tuition! TIP: do everything in your power to ensure your vehicle and license plate remain unconnected to your name and student account.

As always: this is solely information, only a fool would treat this as advice. Do your own research!