Street sweeping campaign a "huge success"
The City of Airdrie is more than halfway through its annual street cleaning project and a partnership with City Wide Towing is making things run much smoother this year, according to officials.
“Last year at this point we’d towed about 240 vehicles. This year, we’re at 75,” said City of Airdrie Roads Team Leader, Kyle Reese.
“That’s a 77 per cent reduction, that’s huge.”
Reese said the City sent out a request for proposals earlier this year and secured a contract with City Wide for its services during this year’s campaign.
Enforcement officials have several tow truck drivers on-call as part of the agreement, Reese said.
Municipal enforcement officers have been tagging cars to be towed for the last four years in Airdrie during street sweeping, but last year was the first time enforcement officers started adding a ticket with the tow. The money made from each $95 ticket is split between the municipality and City Wide Towing.
The City of Airdrie takes $50 for administration costs and the remaining $45 goes to the towing company for its services, Reese said.
Prior to ticketing, the city was picking up the tab for towing services.
“We weren’t recovering those costs,” Reese said.
“Towing someone is the last thing we want to do… for the City it’s just about breaking even,” he said.
This way the taxpayer isn’t paying for us to tow somebody, they are paying for their own tow, essentially.”
Reese said vehicles that need to be moved are only towed around the block and in some occasions “only moved 10 or 15 feet.” He said that the City has been very proactive in getting the message out this year. Large orange signs are put up days before street cleaning takes place in neighbourhoods and general information signs have been up on Airdrie’s major roads for weeks.
“I’ve been updating the website three and four times a day, it’s almost up to the minute,” he said.
Reese said it would be his preference that “nobody is towed” and that municipal enforcement officers knock on doors, check with neighbours and do everything they can to get the vehicle moved without having to ticket and tow.
Reese said he understands people leave town or sometimes “forget” about the signs they saw, so a partnership with City Wide will likely exist for many years to come.
He also said that cars towed around the block would only be ticketed once, meaning if you are towed around the block and your car sits there until the street sweepers have to clean that area, you will not be penalized again.
“We will not ticket you twice, that would be a mistake.”
Anyone wanting to know where the street cleaners are working in Airdrie can visit the city’s website at www.airdrie.ca