With the end of almost four weeks of snowfall comes the end of the parking amnesty in Great Vancouver. Drivers have lost their excuses for abandoning cars and trucks at the side of the road or in a snowbank.

Many municipalities have turned a blind eye to people who ditched their cars wherever they felt like it -- or wherever it was stuck -- but that time has come to an end. Police and bylaw enforcement officers are now cracking down, and tickets can be expected by those who don't move their cars.

"We've got lots of vehicles still parked at intersections, vehicles that have been stopped and abandoned, so if they're not moved, they'll be ticketed and towed," says West Vancouver Police Cpl. Fred Harding.

Bella Chan was finally able to dig her car out of a West Vancouver street Tuesday after it became stuck.

"It was terrible, snowing for the past couple of days. The car was stuck here, too, for a couple of days. There was no way to get out because it kept snowing," she said.

By the time she could see the road beneath the snow, Chan could see the centre line and realized she had blocked a full lane of her street. She found another surprise under the snow -- a ticket on her windshield from West Vancouver's Traffic enforcement unit.

"I could kind of see it coming. But, you know, whatever. Ha...ha... That's what they do -- hand out tickets," she reasoned.

Like many ticketed drivers, Chan said she couldn't get far enough up and off the street because the city hadn't plowed.

The municipalities say they couldn't plow many streets because they were blocked by so many stranded cars.

"If it is a main road and the vehicle is indeed blocking the roadway or parked in an intersection, we'll ticket it. We'll try to contact the registered owner and if need be we'll tow it," said Tim Kravjanski of West Vancouver Police.

"This is the same story every year. The stores sell out in the first week. People can't get shovels. They don't carry shovels with them in their cars. They are ill prepared."

"We're ready to handle it," says Vern Campbell of Buster's Towing.

Cars stuck in snow banks over the past three weeks have made it difficult for ploughs to clear the streets, but it's a double-edged sword. Streets that haven't been plowed meant more cars became stuck in snow banks.

Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson admits there is room for improvement when it comes to snow removal.

"Well, we focused on where we could do the work with the equipment that we had," he says.

Robertson says the city has already spent double its budget for this year on snow removal efforts.

"And frankly, we haven't had a persistent snow like this for three and half weeks that have chocked up side streets like this," he says.

But as the snow disappears, so will the cars -- which will be taken to the already full Vancouver impound lot.

"I think what's happened is it's taken people longer to get their cars because of lack of transportation, the transportation system down, and those kinds of issues, it's not that they're leaving them here as a parking lot," says Campbell.

The city of Vancouver says it will be targeting "safety areas" which means places where vehicles are blocking fire hydrants or intersections.

Officials say it's a matter of sticking to the bottom line.

"It's time to normalize the situation, get people to work, get people to school," says Harding.

"(The) best advice is get your car out of there, try to move it and try to get it off the streets, and make sure you don't park near hydrants or anywhere that's hazardous to the community," says Campbell.

And don't forget...

January and February are traditionally the months with the heaviest amounts of snowfall.

With reports from CTV British Columbia's Peter Grainger and Reshme Nair.