Emergency crews and public transit struggle to navigate narrow streets
Published Friday, March 8, 2019 3:58PM AST
Last Updated Friday, March 8, 2019 6:34PM AST
Snow covered roads and vehicles lining the streets in Halifax are making it difficult for emergency vehicles and public transit to get around.
Two lane roads are looking more like single lanes on Friday, forcing garbage trucks and emergency responders to turn around in some cases.
“It’s terrible and it’s dangerous,” says Halifax driver. “Pedestrians walk out, you can’t see them. Other cars pull out, you can’t see them!”
Municipal officials say 3 meters, or 9.8 feet, is the minimum width required between vehicles parked on the street. Even this is cutting it close, with a firetruck measuring nine to ten feet in width.
Fire officials say the lack of space is slowing down their response time.
“Picture a building halfway down the street that’s on fire, and we got two pieces of apparatus stuck on the corner here trying to get through,” said Captain Skip Hoffmann, Halifax Fire Station 3.
Hoffmann wants motorists to be more mindful of emergency vehicles when finding your parking spot along the road. He also encourages residents to help clear the way to fire hydrants so crews can focus on fighting a fire instead of worrying about snow removal.
“We would like to get two or three feet around each hydrant, because there’s three connection points on the hydrant, and we could use any one of the three,” said Hoffmann.
Over the past two storms, the parking ban was in place for three nights in a row. During that ban, over 1100 vehicles were ticketed for parking on the street.
Residents are asked to contact 311 or police if they think an emergency vehicle can’t safely make it through a narrow street.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Suzette Belliveau