CALGARY – Imagine waking up in the morning and finding your car – and all of your neighbors’ cars are gone, too.
It happened recently to people living in a community in northeast Calgary when the Calgary Parking Authority and a small armada of tow trucks showed up after midnight to tow an entire block of vehicles without sending out a warning.
The park coup took place in the wee hours of November 5th when the residents of Cornerstone Blvd. To the northeast, Calgary woke up to discover that their vehicles had disappeared with no need for explanation.
“It’s so horrible,” said the resident of Binti Gurung. “We thought someone was stealing our car!”
It turned out they weren’t car thieves, but tow trucks, all of which were hauling everyone in the block’s vehicle to the city’s seized property in southwest Calgary.
When tow and confiscation fees were tackled, anyone who lost their vehicle had to pay a bill for $ 250 apiece. Even worse for the residents, numerous families had more than one car parked on the street.
“That’s a lot of money,” said Gurung.
“Not only that,” she added, “one day I couldn’t go to work – so it’s hard.”
There are no signs on the street indicating that the street is not suitable for parking. Longtime residents say they never received a warning not to park on it. The area’s city councilor George Chahal said he has never heard complaints about street parking.
“This is the first time I’ve heard of a problem on this street,” said Chahal, adding, “I asked to be escalated and looked at why this happened by accident.”
A difficult year
It’s just the newest bitter pill to swallow for a neighborhood in Calgary that has already seen a pandemic and a billion dollar hailstorm that devastated many homes and cars this year.
“With everything going on in our community with a pandemic and hailstorm in northeastern Calgary,” said Chahal, “many of these homeowners only have one car and just getting to the confiscated property has been a challenge for them . ” Southeast of Calgary from the far northeast. “
The tow job infuriated Cornerstone residents and demanded some retaliation – and maybe some sweet words too.
“In addition to apologizing and reimbursing my entire community owed,” said Alysha Armanious Bulmer, “I think I need to have proper signage so that it is a clear indicator that we are allowed to park – if so marked got to.” in a certain way that has to happen (then). “
Park authority answers
The Calgary Parking Authority issued a statement Monday night saying “The tow decision was made after numerous complaints from local residents” and ensuring that parked vehicles do not obstruct the flow of traffic.
“We will take over the tow and seize the storage costs,” they added. “and will contact the affected residents directly.”
“The Calgary Parking Authority will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary,” she added, “to ensure our roads are safe for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”
Everything is fine, that ends well, except for one nagging worry: why was there no sign that parking was or was not allowed?
The park authority said it was not their department. That’s up to the Street Department of the City of Calgary.