Snow Emergency Policy Would Ban All On-Street Parking

City Council reviewing recommendation to limit parking to lots and driveways during snowstorms

A proposal by New London’s public safety chiefs and public works director would bar any on-street parking during winter emergencies in an effort to allow better snow removal.

According to a memorandum by City Manager Denise Rose, the suggestion has been recommended by Police Chief Margaret Ackley, Fire Chief Ron Samul, and Interim Public Works Director Keith Chapman. Currently, the city allows residents to park on one side of the street during snow emergencies and bans on-street parking downtown.

Rose said a review of the current policy was prompted by frequent snowstorms last winter. She said the winter brought a total of 68 inches of snow over 137 days in 21 storms, of which the city needed to plow the roads for seven.

Rose said on-street parking led to snow and ice accumulation in travel and parking lanes, which narrowed the travel lanes until vehicles such as school buses and fire engines could not safely navigate the streets. She said it also created line-of-sight issues for drivers and pedestrians.

“The situation grew to the point that a state of emergency was declared, and the , complimented by hired contractors, commenced a massive 18-hour a day operation for close to two weeks to clear those streets identified by the police, fire, and school departments as impassable and/or unsafe, placing the community in jeopardy,” Rose said.

The memo states that the current policy, which allows drivers to park on the even or odd side of the street depending on the year, is not well-known and confusing due to the change in year partway through winter. Rose said the group also considered establishing a permanent allowable side of the street for parking, but that this does not address the problem of snow and ice deposits.

The proposed policy, which would be in place for snow emergencies from Dec. 1 through March 31, would ask drivers to park in lots, driveways, similar paved surfaces, or front yards when a driveway is not available. The city would continue its policy of opening the and schools to residents for free parking and allow the use of lots in parks, including .

Violators of the policy would be towed, have to reimburse the costs of impoundment, and pay a parking ticket. Rose said such a policy would require the city to contract with tow companies, provide secure storage areas, and ensure that the police department has the resources for such enforcement.

A snow emergency is defined as occurring whenever an accumulation of five inches of snow or more is predicted for New London and the surrounding area. It continues for 72 hours after the snow stops falling.

Rose said that of 13 comparable Connecticut cities, eight ban all on-street parking during snow emergencies while the remaining five restrict parking to one side of the street.

The Public Works Committee of the City Council will review the recommendation before it is presented to the full council.

Richard Cranium November 16, 2011 at 02:36 AM
Nancy November 16, 2011 at 11:47 AM
mmmmmmm, sheltered bus stops!! two edged sword, great for the true bus patrons, but a magnet for the scummy bums looking for a place to smoke, drink and p.e.e all over. and guess what, people DONT need a 9 or ten foot roof clearance overhead either! getting the Water Street SEAT transfer location shoveled is one of the lower priorities, even as people (mostly hard working and friendly) stand ankle deep in cold wet snow that has been slushed up by the racing cars that pass by. i wonder how many skaters will use the bus to get to that attractive rinky dink ice rink? whoa! commuter lots! dang, that's an idea! how about all that 'open space' down by Ft Trumbull? or a section of the high school parking lot that always seems wide open? have SEAT reroute thru the lots, like at Mohegan Sun/Foxwoods?
ElComandante November 16, 2011 at 09:09 PM
This policy is totally impracticable. How many multi-family homes and houses without driveways are in this city? New London needs real urban planning and zoning before it tries such ambitious schemes.
Michael Casteel November 16, 2011 at 09:29 PM
This is so epically stupid it could only be recommended in New London. If I were the new mayor I would fire all three department heads for making such a insanely stupid and impractical suggestion. You know what would make life really easy for them? - if all the pesky residents of New London left town. The reality is that the City has never made a serious effort to even enforce the opposite side rule for the simple reason that there is nowhere for residents to take their cars. At least two of these department heads don't really reside in New London - contrary to city law. And since there is nowhere else to mention this - I see the idiot fiasco of a "skating rink" which is not really a skating rink is now taking up most of the $10 million Parade. Another brilliant idea from Penny Parkesian and the rest of the fools at Main Street. But then what does one expect for half a million dollars per year?
John Martin November 17, 2011 at 02:11 AM
Hmmmm. On my street, we have a number of absentee landlords who have taken one and two family homes and squeezed three or four units out of them...and of course almost none of these properties have off street parking. I do wonder what those tenants are going to do. Add to that the hospital and doctor office staff that seem to treat our residential neighborhood as their own personal parking lot, I foresee a lot of problems. I guess this is one way to generate some income. Columbus Square Auto stands to make some bank.


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