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Know the rules before driving and parking in Calgary

Knowing the driving and parking regulations in Calgary is wise.


Calgary attracts vistors from neighboring cities, other Canadiab provinces as well as the United States and other countries. It’s popular destination for tourists to sightsee and participate in the city’s diverse activities.

But whether you visit to attend the Calgary Stampede, Opera in the Village or any of the many other food or cultural events the city hosts annually, studying common sense driving and parking regulation before you arrive is wise.

Knowing the driving and parking regulations in Calgary is wise.
Knowing the driving and parking regulations before you visit Calgary is wise.

Some of the most common parking infractions, according to the city’s website:

• Remaining in a parking space after its metered time has elapsed
• Not parking within a designated stall;
• Parking in an alley;
• Parking on private property;
• Parking too close to a stop sign or yield sign.

It’s important to understand cars can be towed, instead of ticketed, if vehicles are deemed to be obstructing traffic. The violation also includes potential future emergency vehicle traffic, or if a vehicle is on private property.

Cars not properly registered can also be towed. Fees for recovering your vehicle from an impound lot include the cost of the tow, plus $35 per day. The first day’s fee starts two hours after the car arrives at an inbound lot.

To ensure parking lots do not exceed capacity, vehicles parked outside a marked designated stall, including at the end of a marked row, can be ticketed if there’s signage indicating “parking in marked stalls only.” Adherence to this rule also allows cars legitimately parked to enter and exit safely. If you think you’ve found an extra space in a crowded lot, think again. It may cost you $40 (if paid within 10 days).

To ensure residents have safe access in and out of their driveways, garages and that there’s adequate visibility in alleys between homes, parking in an alley, in front of or within 1.5 meters (five feet) of a driveway or garage entrance can also cost you $40.

Any lot marked for private parking means no public parking at any time. Property owners sometimes give permission to the city to patrol their lots. Even on weekends when you think a business is closed and parking is allowed, think again. If you’re lucky, the owner won’t insist on a tow and it will cost only cost you $40.

Vehicles parked in a handicap-only parking place without a handicapped registration can be ticketed or towed. Cars partially parked in a handicap accessible spot are also at risk. Be certain you don’t cross over the line if you’re adjacent to a handicap-only spot. The fine is $200 if paid within 10 days.

On-street accessible spots have curbs painted bright blue to identify them easily, both for those who need them and for those who should stay out.

Too close means within five meters (16 1/2 feet) of either and can mean either a ticket or towing depending on whether the official believes you’re obstructing traffic.

A visitor’s parking permit is required in Calgary you’re visiting with friends and family and plan to park in front of their residence. Permits are valid for two weeks and are limited to one per residence. A visitor can use the permit only within 150 meters (492 feet) of the residence.

A vehicle without a permit and not moved for 72 hours is considered abandoned and can be towed by a Calgary towing services provider.

Calgary is a beautiful place to visit. Know the rules of the road and the rules for parking before your visit. It will help you have a good experience and leave happy.


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