Despite much public education on the local snow parking ban, the Altona Police Service was forced to ramp up enforcement of the Town's traffic and parking by-law following last week's dump of snow.
According to the by-law, parking on Altona streets is prohibited during or after snowfall events until the public works team has been able to complete snow removal operations. In fact, the Town recommends getting ahead of the storm and moving your vehicle off the street if there is 5-7cm of snow in the forecast.

"We've been giving warnings. We've been posting it on social media. It's been in the media. The Town has posted it as well," explained Police Chief Dan Defer, who says previously, officers' efforts after a snowstorm focused on education but this time around, tickets were issued.

"This last bout here, it was what I would say an obvious snow clearing time with the amount of snow that we had so, it's not like people weren't aware that that Town would be out clearing snow. So, the day shift officers, there were certain incidents they came across where they thought it was appropriate that tickets would be issued and in other situations, depending on the circumstances, people were also given warnings and an opportunity to move their vehicles."

Defer hopes vehicle-owners got the message.

"We'll see how this progresses through the winter. Hopefully we don't have to go out and do it again where it's all ticketing. We're hoping that people will move their vehicles when it's obviously going to be a snow clearing day."

According to the Town of Altona's web site, snow clearing is done once the street is cleared all the way to the curb and the windrow has been removed. You are also not permitted to clear snow from your driveway into the road or boulevard, so make sure to be shoveling onto your own yard.

Here is some additional information regarding the Town's snow clearing policy as per its web site. 

Process (Streets & Sidewalks):
Snow clearing for the Public Works team begins as early as 5:00 am, and for the most part follows a set route for efficiency and access to priority roads.

The sidewalk blower starts the day at least 30 minutes ahead of the rest of the equipment – this is done so that the snow from downtown sidewalks can be blown onto the roads where the street clearing equipment will push it into piles to be hauled away.

The downtown streets are first to be cleared by the grader, and one of the loaders with a blade on the front. Once the downtown area is cleared, the grader continues in the Northeast corner.

The other loader starts the day by clearing the Civic Centre parking lot, Police parking lane, Fire Department parking lot, Millennium Exhibition Centre parking lot, Gallery in the Park parking lot, and then both loaders work on bays and cul-de-sacs throughout town.

While the grader is still hard at work clearing the downtown, two snow blowers are clearing back lanes. Once they are done the back lanes, they start chasing the grader, cleaning up the windrows left in the gutter area of each street.

By this time, usually the Public Utilities Department will have finished their daily rounds and will sand the downtown area and streets that have been cleared.

Once the parking lots, bays and cul-de-sacs are finished, two loader operators head back to the Public Works shop to swap out the blade for a bucket, and a loader for the dump truck, and start hauling piles of snow from downtown.

Once the downtown and Northeast corner are cleared, many factors determine where is cleared next. Those variables include the amount of fresh snow, whether it is still snowing, wind direction and speed, and which waste collection day it is.

Process (Trails & Parks):
The Recreation Operations team uses a toolcat with either a snow blower attachment or a rotary broom attachment to clear the park trails, and trails around town. They also coordinate with the Public Works team to clear the nature pond skating surface when it is frozen. They head out as early and as often as possible to remove snow, working around the arena schedule.

Heavy Snowfall:
When there is a heavy snowfall in Altona, the process begins the same way – with clearing downtown. After the downtown area is clear, we will clear a main thoroughfare route of 10th Ave NW & NE, 6th St NE & SE, 4th Ave SE & SW, 4th St SW and 5th St NW. In extreme cases, we will open one lane for emergency services and travel. The windrows will not be cleaned up as quickly as normal, but we will get to them.

Things to Remember:
Leave at least 10 metres (33 ft) between you and any piece of snow removal equipment at all times. When snow removal equipment is blocking a street, it is done intentionally for your safety and ours. Please find an alternate route to your destination. Do not attempt to sneak around, or under, equipment, as this puts everybody at risk.

When you are shoveling your driveway, snow must be moved off to the side, into your yard. The boulevard is a town easement that is used to store snow cleared from the street, and you are not permitted to deposit snow from your driveway onto the public road, street or lane. Once the grader has come by and there is a windrow at the end of your driveway, one of our two snow blowers is on route to clear it away for you.
Keep your waste containers for collection on your driveway, back from the curb so that they aren’t in the way of our equipment or at risk of being damaged.
Remind children not to build forts or tunnels near the roads, especially in the piles that we make, as we will be removing those piles without warning.