Anti-idling bylaw, city fee changes take effect for 2013
Published Wednesday, January 2, 2013 10:21AM MST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 2, 2013 1:00PM MST
A new anti-idling bylaw and a number of fee changes are now in effect as Edmontonians get settled into the new year.
The city has spent $135,000 putting up signs around facilities where idling will not be permitted.
Effective Jan. 1, drivers are no longer able to let their vehicles run outside of schools and hospitals when temperatures are above 0 C.
Drivers can only let parked vehicles run for more than five minutes within a 30-minute period unless the temperature is below freezing.
Those who are caught disobeying the rules could be fined $250, however city officials say the real goal of the bylaw is to help change driver behaviour.
“We’ll be doing our best from an enforcement area to educate citizens and only in those very rare cases where we can’t get compliance, that we’ll have to look at enforcement options,” said Dave Aitken with the City of Edmonton's community standards branch.
The hope is to reduce air pollution.
"I'm not sure in the total scheme of things it has a huge impact but of course its location is really important. Again, where kids are is important not to be idling there, nto to have more pollution than you need to so it's about having clean air around schools or hospitals," said Mark Bromstrom, director of the Office of Environment with the City of Edmonton.
The bylaw does not apply to emergency vehicles, school buses and taxis.
Meanwhile the new year also comes with a set of new changes to city fees.
Admission rates are rising for city attractions like the Muttart Conservatory, the Valley Zoo, along with recreation and leisure centres and some city golf courses.
Edmonton Transit adult cash fares are also gong up Feb. 1 by 20 cents, from $3 to $3.20.
Not every area is seeing a fee increase, however.
Fees for residential construction permits, such as the cost to build pools, hot tubs, uncovered decks and secondary suites are decreasing.
2013 also brings a change to Edmonton’s garbage collections schedule.
Beginning Feb. 5, garbage and recyclables will be collected on the same day, every week, in an effort to reduce confusion from the winter schedule, where trash is collected on varying days over a two-week schedule.
With files from Laura Tupper