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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.

Ralph Thayer November 15, 2011 at 11:19 AM
Oh boy -- is THIS gonna be fun to watch.
Rick Lushay November 15, 2011 at 11:43 AM
So tell us what are people supposed to do with their cars. If they park their cars at Ocean Beach or elsewhere how do they get back to their homes? Denise Rose cannot leave New London soon enough and she should take Chief Ackley with her.
Lari November 15, 2011 at 12:46 PM
What about people who have a house on a one way and have tryed to have a driveway put in but was told no by the city. Now what do we do. Oh life on Colman st....
loves animals November 15, 2011 at 01:13 PM
This is dumb .... worth a petition?
Tambria Moore November 15, 2011 at 01:19 PM
does not work at my home, no parking strip, no lots, just street
Tambria Moore November 15, 2011 at 01:27 PM
So, the elderly, handicapped, moms with infants and small children must slip and slide to a lot possibly blocks from their homes? L&M should be thrilled. Ms. Rose should drive through the city before making such proposals. KISS How about the city do its job and keep the downtown sidewalks and sidewalk ramps and handicapped parking and handicapped parking area access to sidewalks clear of ice and snow and accessible for all citizens including those in wheelchairs and motorized chairs? How about they hire more locals with plows in storms to keep up with the snow and ice removal in the first place. How about the city improve busing and add sheltered bus stops so some can get around in the winter when the car is plowed in? How about the city create well lit and bus connected commuter lots in other areas besides the west side before assuming their is enough parking for all cars off street?
Tambria Moore November 15, 2011 at 01:28 PM
at least you are handy with a camera
Emily Kendall November 15, 2011 at 01:43 PM
Well we will see what the new mayor will do about this mess.
Thomas Cornick November 15, 2011 at 02:02 PM
That would allow the plow operators to dump snow on both sidewalks and block driveways on both sides of the street. Brilliant!
Hedda Hopper November 15, 2011 at 02:11 PM
Thereby blocking in ALL your vehicles and making getting out to pay your high taxes impossible!
Alphonse DeLachance November 15, 2011 at 02:42 PM
They should all be drug tested!
Heidi Cleveland November 15, 2011 at 03:33 PM
I live on a dead end street and I do not have a driveway and cannot get permission to get a driveway if I tried. And I am disabled. So what do you propose I do? Sit in my car during the storm in some lot someplace to make it easier for the plow drivers? We could all park over at Riverside Park...oh yeah..You are giving that away. Never mind
Hedda Hopper November 15, 2011 at 04:37 PM
Hire a worthless bum to figure it out because he can't find his own way out of a paper bag right now, he is too busy screwing up New London to care about it's citizens!
Thomas Cornick November 15, 2011 at 04:55 PM
Dear True New Londoner, What are your salary requirements?
eillen November 15, 2011 at 04:55 PM
This is a stupid idea.
Nancy November 15, 2011 at 05:37 PM
maybe i'll get into the mini-paving business. many folks will have to either ruin their 'beeeeyootiful' lawns or have some sort of landing pad for their car. worse, some have a fleet of cars, trucks, motor-cycles and junk parked 'on street' anyway. maybe the downtown garage could offer cut rates for a day or week pass during those 1/2 inch snowfalls that everyone thinks is so dangerous. if the streets actually ARE vehicle free during plowing, at least the snowshovelling kids will have plenty of sidewalk opportunities. (better than running around popping people for fast cash!)
Keith Kimball November 15, 2011 at 05:39 PM
On my one-way street few houses have drive ways and most yards are too small to park a car. The nearest public lot is 4 blocks away. ENFORCE THE PARKING RULES YOU HAVE BEFORE YOU CHANGE THEM.
Nancy November 15, 2011 at 05:42 PM
don't fret, the Seat bus has happy drivers ready an willing to haul you and your bags of gold downtown to the local tax depository. if not, the city will gladly send out a special agent equipped with whips, chains, lawyers and other 'enticements' to assist you.
--Robert November 15, 2011 at 05:56 PM
Are you serious? Folks in my area, my friends, neighbors and tenants, park correctly for every storm. I remind people and some people who aren't sure do ask where they're allowed to park. There's barely enough room on the streets as it is with one-side parking. It is ridiculous to assume that everyone has some off-street location they can park their cars. The lots are small, and even those of us lucky enough to have a driveway may not have enough room for all the vehicles that live at one house. This is repeated in every area of the city. Drive around: how many cars are on-street in the neighborhoods? Thousands. They would be off-street if there was any way for that to happen. There isn't. Even with some public lots (Ocean Beach, shopping centers, garages) opened up, there's not enough room. Last year the city did a poor job of snow removal in some storms. Sometimes the response was ok. However we got a record amount of snow- this year we might get little to none. No one knows. This blanket policy is foolish and unworkable. The existing system works if residents do their part, police do theirs, and Public Works does a good job of plowing. I will say, on some streets, a permanent one-side parking rule would be a big improvement.
Suzanne Cattanach November 15, 2011 at 08:02 PM
The side of the street does NOT CHANGE over the course of one winter... if the winter begins in an even year, then it's considered an even year all the way through that winter. It's not that confusing now is it? It would be a lot easier to just train the plow drivers to actually PLOW the non-parking side of the stree. All they do is plow up the middle now, even when one side is clear of cars they barely touch it. Unless of course there's a sidewalk that has been shoveled in which case they do plow the snow up and over to make the homeowner shovel again...Yes a foolish plan.
Richard Cranium November 16, 2011 at 02:36 AM
NOT!
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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