Sudbury is an increasingly multicultural city and not everyone celebrates their holidays on Dec. 25.
Ward 11 Coun. Bill Leduc will present a motion at next week’s meeting of the operations committee to have council consider “reducing the current overnight parking prohibition to the hours of 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. from Dec. 1 to March 31.”
As Leduc said in an interview, reducing the prohibition acknowledges Sudbury’s multiculturalism.
“At Christmas time, we allow people to park overnight on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve, but we have other nationalities that celebrate Christmas at different times of the year, and we can’t expect them to not have a fair shake at being able to have guests over at their houses until, let’s say, 2 a.m.,” he said. “I believe this is fair to give everybody an opportunity. “¦ I understand we have a multicultural city and we should respect everybody’s needs.”
Currently, the city bars vehicles from parking on any roadway from midnight to 7 a.m. from Dec. 1 to March 31, with the exception of the aforementioned holidays, in order to facilitate plowing and sanding. But as Leduc points out, “snow removal on our roadways does not necessarily only occur during overnight hours.”
Call-outs normally begin at 5 a.m., Leduc said. Besides, the reformed bylaw would be weather-dependent.
“I’m trying to work around the plows; this motion is only allowed if it’s not snowing,” he said. “If there’s going to be a snow event, we can’t be in the way of our plows.”
Leduc said it happens across the city – a resident stays too long at a friend’s place and ends up with a fine for breaking the bylaw. He said every councillor gets phone calls from angry constituents who have walked to their car, only to find that nefarious white sheet flapping in the wind.
“I’m hoping to eliminate the challenge us councillors have to face,” he said.
Leduc said he has received requests from several residents to amend the bylaw.
“I’ve had constituents call me,” he said. “Some constituents were in a different ward and they didn’t feel it was fair. I was trying to think of a good alternative. Throughout the year, you could have a birthday party or anniversary party, and you don’t want to have to say at midnight, ‘sorry people, everybody has to move their cars.’ I think that by allowing us to park on the street until 2 a.m. it allows everyone to enjoy their evening and then leave safely without a ticket.”
He also said this motion would support community efforts to curb impaired driving, adding the little bit of money the bylaw would generate – when residents are fined – is inconsequential.
“I think as a city we shouldn’t concern ourselves with it,” he said. “It’s not enough to even think about.”
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