The Town of the Blue Mountains (TBM) has extended and expanded its parking bylaw in hopes of avoiding parking issues this winter.
“Staff anticipate that the ski season will present a further two-fold challenge: firstly, it is expected that the work-from-home trend continues throughout the winter months,” said Will Thomson, director of legal services for TBM.
“Secondly, staff understand that Blue Mountain Resort is moving to a pass-only winter access policy. In other words, visitors will not be able to purchase same-day lift tickets at Blue Mountain resort,” he continued.
According to Thomson, town staff anticipate that the demand for Blue Mountain's skiing and recreational opportunities will not wane through the winter, and those unable to obtain ski passes will be looking for other recreational pursuits, including snowshoeing, hiking and cross-country skiing at TBM parks and trails.
“It's very possible and likely that those who can't get on the hill on any given day will turn to other recreational space places,” Thomson stated.
At a council meeting held earlier this week, TBM staff presented an amendment to the section town's parking bylaw 2003-11 that regulates the placing, standing, stopping or parking on select streets.
TBM council had previously amended the parking bylaw in the spring, and the amendment was set to expire on Oct. 31.
Updates to the bylaw take into consideration parking 'hotspots’ that were missed on the initial revision, as well as areas that may be of concern due to winter road maintenance.
The new amendment will impact a handful of roadways, which include:
- 6th Sideroad - between 4th Line and Collingwood/Clearview Townline
- Carmichael Cres.
- Lucille Wheeler Cres.
- Kinsey Pl.
- Poplar Sideroad
- Sideroad 9 - between The Blue Mountains Euphrasia Townline and 10th Line
- Pretty River Road
When authorized signs have been erected, the roadways will be deemed no parking, no standing and/or stopping areas.
The new amendment will be in place until April 30, 2021 or until a new comprehensive parking bylaw is enacted.
Town staff stated local residents on streets where parking restrictions will be changing have not been notified individually and should watch for changing road signs.
According to Thomson, town staff are planning to undertake a comprehensive review of parking in TBM ahead of the May 2021 long weekend.
“How can we facilitate more permanent parking lots is something staff will be considering as part of our parking review this spring,” he said.
TBM may also consider hiring more bylaw officers to enforce the parking restrictions.
Thomson explained staff will be considering hiring additional bylaw staff, especially if TBM council chooses to go ahead with its proposed draft bylaw on mandatory face masks in public indoor spaces.
He also noted that bylaw officers are able to ticket the same vehicle more than once for ongoing offences at the same location and can implement towing if deemed necessary.
Currently, vehicles that are towed in the TBM are taken to Collingwood as TBM does not have the proper facility.
“We do have land around the police station that there may be room for a facility like that. It certainly it's not optimal to take these vehicles out of our jurisdiction,” added TBM Mayor Alar Soever.
A full list of roadways impacted by the changes to the bylaw can be found in TBM staff report FAF.20.167.