Carbonear councillors losing patience with fire lane hogs

By Mark Squibb/November 18, 2022

If you’ve been ticketed by the town municipal enforcement officer for parking in the fire lane at TC Square, don’t expect that writing to the Town Hall will get you a pardon.

Such a letter of complaint was dealt with at council last week.

“I’m not sure how many councillors received an e-mail concerning the parking enforcement at the TC Square,” said councillor Danielle Doyle. “I know that the TC Square is a private property, it’s not town-owned property, but sometimes our municipal enforcement officer does frequent there to give out parking tickets. But in particular, this time of year it’s super dark, and I myself have driven across that parking lot and there are people walking out in front of you, and there are people parked in the fire zone where they’re not supposed to be parked. It’s hard to see pedestrians sometimes when there’s bigger trucks parked in front of those fire lanes and in front of those stores. So, I know our municipal enforcement officer goes over when he can.”

She suggested the Town put out a public service announcement reminding folks why they should not park in fire zones.

“It is a ticketable offense,” she reminded council. “If you’re dropping someone off, you can do that and then go wait for them, but there shouldn’t be a line of traffic in front of the mall at all times.”

Deputy Mayor Sam Slade said the Town will continue to ticket people who park in the fire lane but added that perhaps a discussion with the mall’s owners would be a good idea.

“I think they do have security over there, and perhaps they could be out pushing them along,” said Slade. “There was a serious accident there a few years ago and a young lady lost her life. And so we don’t want to see anyone parking in fire lanes. At least then, a person who’s trying to cross a crosswalk is not coming out from behind a truck.”

Councillor Ray Noel also had a strong opinion on the matter.

“One thing that really concerns me is when there are small children, or people in wheelchairs crossing, and there are larger vehicles parked, and you cannot see them,” said Noel. “And you know what small children can be like. They can dart across there so quickly.”

He suggested a concrete bump leading out from the sidewalks, such as you see downtown, might alleviate the problem.

“I plead to people, because it’s too late when something happens,” said Noel. “And people, for some reason, got this misconception that, ‘If I’m in my car, it’s Okay, because I can move if the fire truck comes.’”

Similar to Slade’s suggestion, he recommended the town and the TC Square work in tandem to solve the problem.

Councillor Malcolm Seymour said the issue had been discussed in a recent Public Works meeting and would likely be on the next public meeting agenda.

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