Parking Bans are in Effect!

5 Things YOU need to know about wintertime parking bans.

Parking bans are in effect for Bridgeport, CT but what does that mean? Last winter you might remember that my dad’s truck was kidnapped! The snow storm of February 2013, left many residents in a state of frustration as cars were towed in the middle of the night to clear the snow filled streets. While most of Connecticut got slammed with snow, Bridgeport received a record of 30 inches and snow drifts of 60+ inches. It took a whole week to clear out the streets and get everyone back on the road. Why did it take so long?

Parking bans had been in effect but people did not follow them. Bridgeport hadn’t seen snow like that since … not sure when. I’ve been a Bridgeport resident for 33 years and that was the first time I’ve seen snow that high. I can’t recall a time where parking bans were ever enforced though. If you’ve never had to enforce them, would people know what they even mean?

What do Parking Bans mean?

Here’s 5 things you need to know about parking bans:

  1. Parking is not permitted on snow emergency streets. This means that you have to check out which streets in the city are designated as “Snow Emergency” Streets and not park on them at all. Usually these are the more trafficked roads that are vital to getting around in the city. Last February, snow plow trucks were unable to do their job because cars were literally abandoned in the middle of the road. Plows are hard to maneuver in the first place, can you imagine trying to get around abandoned cars? Here is a list of snow emergency streets in Bridgeport
  2. Alternate side parking rules are in effect. Which side do you park on? If its an even date, like January 2nd, you park on the even side of the street, like 100 Park Avenue. If its an odd date you park on the odd side of the street. The parking ordinance for Bridgeport, Ct reads: Alternate side of the street parking shall mean that vehicles shall be allowed to stand or park on the even-numbered side of the street between the hours of seven a.m. of the day bearing an even-numbered calendar date to seven a.m. of the following day; and on the odd-numbered side of the street between the hours of seven a.m. of the day bearing an odd-numbered calendar date to seven a.m. of the following day. Following this rule is important to make sure that plows are able to easily and safely remove snow off the roads.
  3. Your car can be ticketed or towed. Mayor Finch issued the parking ban rules to go into effect for today as of 12:01 am, which means anyone who was not parked on the odd side of the street early this morning were issued tickets. Many residents awoke to find tickets on their windshield. Last winter, many vehicles were towed if their car was in violation of the parking bans. It was the first time, that I can remember, parking ban rules were enforced. Imagine walking out of your home and not finding your car. Yikes!
  4. How do I know if my car was towed and not stolen? When I got home from work a few days after the roads were finally cleared out in last February’s storm, my dad’s car was not in its usual spot in front of the house. My first thought was that someone had stolen it. When he got home, I had seen quite a number of angry residents on the news talking about their cars being towed in the middle of the night. If you find yourself in a similar situation, call your local police department. If you car was towed because of a wintertime parking ban, they will have a record of it. They will tell you the towing company that has your vehicle, the fee for your parking ticket and where your car was towed to. Hopefully you have someone to drive you to the tow company to pay your towing fee and then to the location where you vehicle is being kept to pay your ticket.  Once you show the officer in the lot that your towing fee was paid and you pay your ticket, your car is yours again. YAY
  5. How do I find out if there are Wintertime Parking Ban Rules in effect? Your local TV news channel or radio station is a great way to find out what is going on in your city during times of severe weather. The city’s government website is another great resource at your disposable. Most sites will have a Snow Information link for you to visit like this one.  Also be sure to follow your city on social media channels, like Facebook and Twitter.

Wintertime Parking Bans are in place to make sure plows can get our roads clean easily and quickly. They vary from city to city so be sure to check your own local government sites for specifics to your local parking bans. If you can, stay off the road and stay warm and cozy under your covers!  

Have you had any experiences with parking bans, good or bad? Are you aware of the rules in your town?

Until then,

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