Photo by Zoha Khalid

Kingston City Council has voted to implement a weather-based winter parking pilot program starting March of 2022, until March of 2023. An overnight full parking ban is in effect for January and February during the pilot. 

The current total parking ban on any street in the city extends from December 1 to March 31 between 1 a.m to 7 a.m. Overnight parking between December and March would only be allowed if weather conditions permit. If there are conditions like heavy snow, where plowing and sanding are a must, the temporary ban from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be in effect. 

A pilot project of a weather-based approach to parking rules for overnight parking is recommended in a report presented by Brad Joyce, Commissioner of Transportation and Public Works at the City, and Karen Santucci, the Director of Public Works and Solid Waste, during the last Council meeting. 

The rationale behind the report states that due to change in climate, extreme weather conditions in Kingston are observed to begin later in winter months and end earlier, however at the same time, severe weather events are recorded occasionally. Hence, banning parking for the entire winter season isn’t right when there is no intense snowfall at the start or end of the winter season.

“We need to keep the streets clear when there is snow or freezing rain, but we are also seeing extended periods of time without much winter weather in Kingston, particularly in December and March,” Mayor Bryan Paterson said in a video before the Council meeting. 

When a temporary parking ban is in effect, the city will ensure effective communication on time through social media, news releases and electronic signboards, most by 3 p.m that day, to give residents ample time to remove their vehicles from the street. 

The pilot project was recommended after reviewing and assessing winter parking practices in 19 other municipalities, each following either a complete parking ban for the winter season or a weather-based parking ban.

In addition, some also follow a combination of weather-based and a total parking ban. Kingston’s pilot project would assess Kingston’s requirements regarding weather conditions and accompanying parking regulations.