The town is taking off the kids gloves when it comes to getting residents to move their vehicles off the roads for their annual neighbourhood street sweeps that start next Monday.

For the first time in over a decade, vehicles left on streets designated to be swept will be issued a $50 ticket. Left unpaid it could spiral to $233 as a provincial ticket.

Roads manager Wally Hume explains the town did issue tickets about 12 years ago but since that time moved towards providing education as opposed to enforcement. That hasn't seemed to work well in recent years.

"In the last five years we have seen a steady decline in compliance and the ultimate goal of getting the streets cleaned is being compromised.," explains Hume. "With the growth of our town, we don’t have the resources to continuously go back into residential to sweep."

The town will assess how the change in approach works. If it doesn't get the point across they will consider the possibility of towing vehicles in the future, says Hume.

Following a pre-sweep earlier this month, street sweepers starting returning to neighbourhoods next Monday (May 14).  They'll continue to work through the residential areas weekdays until May 31. There may be adjustments in the schedule should there be delays caused by inclement weather or mechanical issues.

Notification signs will be put in each neighbourhood at least 48 hours in advance of sweeping and no-parking signs placed 24 hours prior. Vehicles should be moved by 8 a.m. on the scheduled sweeping day to driveways or parking pads. Parking is also allowed in alleys for those who do not have other off-street parking.

Residents are also asked to move curb ramps and basketball nets. Curb ramps contravene Cochrane’s streets bylaw and restrict town crews from cleaning the streets. The town says basketball nets should always be located on private property.

Street sweeping downtown and on main roads is done mostly at night and early morning to avoid traffic.

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