Full disclosure: I do not like adhering to bylaws.
Bylaws are like that geeky, know-it-all classmate who demands the rest of the class stops talking so she can concentrate and get an A in math, even though silence won’t do a thing for you because you’re in remedial math and no amount of silence will change the fact that you can’t do integers.
They’re like the audience member who shamed you for waving your hands in the air like you just don’t care at the Broadway show, even though the entire cast of Mama Mia exhorted you to do so.
In a perfect world they’d be done away with. People would be able to park where they want. Dogs would run free. People would be able to extend their decks and garages without a Development Variance Permit.
But unfortunately we live in a growing community that seems to be struggling with a big city parking problem. StatsCan has stated that the city has breached 5,000 residents but there are at least a few thousand expats here for the winter. Add another thousand tourists and their vehicles on the weekend and things get a bit crowded on the roads.
We need a properly enforced system of parking bylaws so that everyone can live harmoniously.
During early February’s huge dump of snow, municipal crews were working heroically to keep the roads clear but all it took were a few thoughtless individuals to hamstring the whole operation with their illegally parked vehicles.
Nobody likes getting a parking ticket but when one illegally parked car is enough to turn main street into a single lane of alternating traffic, something needs to be done.
As one particular Fernie resident of 46-years said in council the other day, “The bottom line is enforcement. We’re past the point of trying to educate the public. People don’t listen or learn until the money comes out of their pockets.”
The city’s bylaw officer is being repeatedly called out in our letters to the editor section and in council chambers. Maybe he should get out there and write a few tickets to the people that can’t handle freedom and abuse the system.