Snow came a bit earlier this year, triggering the start of the first snow clearing parking ban in Winkler. The ban was enacted for the first time mid-afternoon Thursday.
Mayor Henry Siemens reported how it went.
"Overall, things went quite well. I think as we got out there, we noticed that most people were able to accommodate. We did run into a few, for a variety of reasons, were not. I think, if I remember correctly, almost 30 tickets were issued. We're having some contact with those now as they come in to have conversations, to find out what do we need to learn from that. And then internally, our city staff takes all the information that comes in to find out, how can we improve? Are there things we need to do differently?"
Siemens was surprised by the feedback he received from some who were not aware of the parking ban, noting they had used a variety of ways to get the word out.
"What we're going to continue to suggest is every time there's any snow, people should check our social media channels, check the City of Winkler's Facebook page or website. But even more so than that, we would urge people to log on to the city of Winkler website and sign up for 'Connect' alerts. And at that point in time, you will literally get a text when the parking ban is out there, so you're always aware of it."
He said there were some areas more affected by the non-compliance than others.
"I know we ran into some serious concern, particularly in the downtown area, in terms of parking when it's already extremely limited. So, we're trying to find some creative solutions there, to see if there's anything twe can do to help mitigate that in the next snowfall."
Overall, Siemens recognized any change is frustrating when it occurs and affects you in a negative way.
"Our thanks and appreciation go to the community. For a community our size, to only have that few tickets, is certainly encouraging to us, but ultimately to the people who did receive a ticket, it's extremely disappointing. There's absolutely no thought to us for this to be a punitive type of a thing. Our hope is that it's an educational piece. That we're able to help people find the information they need, so they can work together with us to get streets cleared quickly and safely."