Sturgeon County – A Cardiff Pittsburgh woman brought her concerns to Sturgeon County Council Aug 24 and walked away having accomplished what she’d set out to do, convince council that it should consider a bylaw on recreational and commercial vehicle parking.
Suzanna Brownlie told council the increase in the number of RVs, trailers and commercial vehicles parking on the roadways in the Cardiff Pittsburgh and Cardiff Echoes areas had grown to the point where it was beginning to affect traffic flow, a situation she felt could lead to an accident.
“It is just a matter of time before we have a traffic accident involving a local resident’s vehicle, pet or child,” Brownlie told council.
But the Cardiff Pittsburgh resident hadn’t merely come to County Council with a complaint; she’d done her homework and brought it with her. Brownlie brought along relevant segments of the parking bylaws of many neighbouring municipalities, including Morinville, Gibbons, Legal, Edmonton and Strathcona County.
As it currently stands, Sturgeon County does not have a bylaw pertaining to trailers and other large vehicles being parked on the County’s roadways, leaving Sturgeon County Peace Officers powerless to do anything to alleviate the traffic problems Brownlie is concerned about. Brownlie said the closest thing Sturgeon County has is a bylaw that prohibits a vehicle from parking on a roadway for more than 72 hours, but that moving the vehicle just one inch, the vehicle would be permitted to remain in its place for another three days.
Although Brownlie told council she wasn’t advocating for a total parking ban on County roads, she did hope a bylaw could be drafted.
“I should be able to access my home without having to bob and weave,” she said. “I’m not looking for a parking ban, but someone shouldn’t be able to move one inch and park for three days at a time.”
It was a point of view which councillors had little argument with. Councillor Jerry Kaup said he was surprised to find there was no bylaw and that he felt the introduction of one would be something that would please county residents. “Our bylaw officers are powerless because there is no bylaw,” he said.
Sturgeon County Council has directed administration to come back to chambers with a bylaw that would be restrictive enough to eliminate traffic problems but permissive enough to make some allowances for larger vehicles.