Fire Chief responds to parking inquiries

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In response to a number of complaints and inquiries from residents who received parking tickets when parked in a cul-de-sac, or dead end, in Kemptville recently, Fire Chief John Okum, who is also in charge of By-Law Services, provided the following information to the Times.

In regard to cul-de-sacs, the Chief pointed out that the construction of municipal roads must meet design criteria. “A cul-de-sac is basically a dead-end street which does not provide through traffic, Chief Okum notes. “The circular design of a cul-de-sac provides vehicular traffic the ability to turn around (since they cannot drive through to an adjoining street). Otherwise, vehicles would use private driveways to turn around in order to exit the dead-end. A cul-de-sac design provides for larger vehicles, such as: emergency vehicles (fire apparatus), school buses, waste collection trucks, snow plows, etc. Parking within the radius restricts the proper movement of larger vehicles. Additionally, within a cul-de-sac, there may not always be enough distance between driveways to properly park vehicles”.

According to the relevant municipal By-law, No. 14-12, as amended by By-law 35-13, parking in a cul-de-sac is prohibited. Section 4(1) states that parking is prohibited at any time in the “turn around of a cul-de-sac”. However, not all cul-de-sacs are named explicitly in the Schedule which lists No Parking Areas in the municipality, and that, along with a lack of No Parking signs, has created confusion and upset among residents.

Chief Okum notes, in that regard, “Normally parking signs are not posted at all of these locations, as parking is prohibited at all of these locations within the municipality. Parking signs are generally posted in specific areas were parking restrictions are put into place (example: 1 side of a narrow street, a limit in a commercial area, designated fire routes, etc.). If every cul-de-sac, fire hydrant, railway crossing, intersection, private driveway, crosswalk, etc. were to be posted, there would be an excessive amount of signs.”

This situation means that, unless a resident is familiar with the terms of the by-law, they will assume from the lack of No Parking signs that parking is permitted in a specific location. The Times has been informed of two individuals who recently received parking tickets when they were parked on Hilltop Crescent. [See Letters to the Editor].

Given that this is a regularly used parking place for people visiting the KDH, for example, perhaps it would be useful to install signs there, to warn people. Chief Okum says that such a move is quite feasible: “If a specific area within the municipality, for some reason, is resulting in a hazard or serious concern, the individual area can be looked at and signage may be considered”..

Chief Okum was very quick and thorough in his response to our inquiry, for which we are very grateful.

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