Sarnia lawn care company seeks easing of Lakeshore Road parking rules

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Lambton County councilors have voted to support, in principle, a lawn care company’s request that service vehicles be exempt from no-parking rules along a section of the county’s Lakeshore Road in Sarnia during certain times of the week.

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Representatives of Sarnia’s JD Lawn Service made the request at Wednesday’s county council meeting, where the company was encouraged to also approach Sarnia city council for its position on an exemption.

Citing concerns about safety, and the challenge of fitting company vehicles in some driveways, the company is seeking an exemption from the no-parking rule on Lakeshore Road, between Murphy and Telfer roads, Monday to Saturday between 9 am and 5 pm

That section of the county road was recently rebuilt and now has paved shoulders for cyclists and pedestrians. There are no side walks. A county bylaw limits parking on the road.

Bonnie Dawson, director of JD Lawn Service, said the company’s trucks aren’t able to pull into residential customers’ driveways in some cases, and there are limited side streets in the area where crews can park as an alternative.

She said there have been complaints to municipal officials from pedestrians and cyclists about service vehicles parked along the paved shoulder.

“Pulling into driveways and then backing out of them, in many scenarios, poses a concern for the safety of not only our staff but the public,” said Dawson.

The company’s crews set out pylons while lights on their trailers flash when they are parked on streets, she said.

“Whether you’re a service vehicle, a pedestrian or a cyclist, we all need to share the road,” Heather Dawson, the company’s office manager, told county council. “We all need to play a part in safety.”

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Bonnie Dawson said many of the company’s customers are older and rely on lawn care and snow clearing services to allow them to remain in their homes longer.

Jason Cole, the county’s general manager of infrastructure and development services, said Lambton typically follows the lead of local municipalities when setting parking bylaws, and the city previously asked for the parking restriction on Lakeshore Road.

Changes to parking restrictions on county roads are traditionally made by the county in consultation with local municipalities, he said.

Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley encouraged the company to bring the issue to city council when it meets Monday.

A motion county council passed Wednesday made support for the company’s request subject to discussions with the city.

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