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On-street parking bans a go although impacts unknown

Council has given city staff the power to declare temporary on-street parking bans, starting this year, but details of how it might affect some city residents won’t be known until the fall.
Staff are working on a plan for interim parking for residents most affected by on-street parking bans lasting perhaps 24 hours, council was told Monday. Rod Keller, the city’s general manager of public works, said the plan will be ready by September or October.
Coun. Bob Bell said he is particularly concerned about some residents of Wards 1 and 3 who now are able to park on nearby streets while their street is plowed.
The parking bylaw change allowing temporary bans will affect residents all over the city who park on the street during the day. But the biggest effect could be on people who park overnight on certain streets in older parts of Guelph that have long been designated for year-round overnight parking.
As things stand now, city hall can only request that residents not park on the street when big winter storms hit.
“Without the ability to restrict on-street parking in a timely manner when required, the public works department is disadvantaged in clearing streets of snow, ice, grit, etc. in an effective manner,” says a city staff report. “This leads to longer work periods to meet service levels, which results in a more costly delivery of service.”
The motion passed by council Monday also forbids on-street parking on Guelph Transit bus routes during the period when on-street parking is banned for the winter.
That period is currently Nov. 1 to April 30 for most streets, but council decided Monday it should be shortened to four months from six. The proposed new period is Dec. 1 to March 31.
However, this change is subject to approval as part of the city’s 2015 budget setting, because of its financial implications. The city estimates it would lose $158,000 a year in parking-fine revenue if the winter restriction is cut to four months. Because of the civic election  on Oct. 27, the city’s 2015 budget won’t be approved until late next winter.
Some streets in older parts of Guelph have long had year-round exemptions to overnight parking restrictions. The motion approved by council stipulates that if residents of any other streets ask for the same exemption in the future, the request be considered only if the street has a travel width of at least seven metres.

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