Kingston to continue ‘weather-based’ overnight winter parking pilot program

Downtown Kingston after a dumping of snow in January 2022. Kingstonist file photo.

Kingston residents will again be allowed to park on the street overnight during December and March unless the City declares a weather event.

At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, Kingston City Council received a report from Brad Joyce, Commissioner of Infrastructure, Transportation & Emergency Services and subsequently enacted “A Bylaw to Amend Bylaw Number 2010, A Bylaw to Regulate Parking, as Amended.”  

This decision enables the City to extend a pilot program which allows for a ‘weather-based’ winter parking ban during the ‘shoulder’ months of winter, December and March, when snow is generally less heavy.

The report noted that continuing the pilot project allows the City to continue to gather information to “better understand the effectiveness of a weather-based ban during the shoulder seasons of December and March,” while also providing “an additional season of winter operations and enforcement with increased awareness of the approach amongst residents.” 

Before March 2022, on-street parking was prohibited between 1 a.m. and 7 a.m. from December 1 to March 31 on most streets throughout the city. That ban will continue to be in effect in January and February when snowfall is typically heavier.

However, the project allows the City to continue to study the effectiveness of moving to a weather-based system, at least for December and March.

Overnight parking will be allowed in those months unless the Director of Public Works enacts a ‘Declared Weather Event,’ in advance of forecasted precipitation of five or more centimetres of snow, in advance of forecasted freezing rain, or at any other time as deemed necessary to perform winter maintenance operations.

If an overnight parking ban is declared during December and March, the City notifies residents, typically by 4 p.m. or earlier, through social media, via City news releases on the “Winter Parking” page of the City’s website, and with electronic sign boards on high-traffic thoroughfares.

When this ban is in effect, on-street parking is prohibited from 1 a.m. to 7 a.m. citywide and 12 a.m. to 7 a.m. on the streets that surround Kingston General Hospital: George Street from Stuart Street to King Street West, O’Kill Street from Barrie Street to George Street, and Stuart Street from Barrie Street to University Avenue.

During the lengthy meeting of Council — and right after the three hour mark in the meeting — councillors voted unanimously and without discussion to approve the continuation of the pilot program.

Bylaw Number 2010-128, A Bylaw to Regulate Parking, was thus amended to reflect the extension of the pilot, and the program will come into effect again on Friday, Dec. 1, 2023.

Members of the public can view the full agenda from the meeting on the City of Kingston’s City Council meetings webpage, and the meeting can be viewed in full on the Kingston City Council YouTube channel.

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