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Local News

January 1, 2013

Parking bans put to the test

Peabody tows 15 cars in first use of blue lights; 42 towed in Beverly

New rules for winter parking begin today in Danvers, but Peabody got its first sight of the blue lights this weekend, when officials said that overall, residents got the message.

Beverly, which has long had a snow emergency-only winter parking ban, saw 42 cars towed from Saturday to Sunday.

The weekend’s storm was the first test of a new snow emergency system in Peabody, during which 15 cars were towed, Peabody police Chief Robert Champagne said. Last winter, which saw little snow, Peabody and Danvers prohibited overnight on-street parking all season.

“So far, so good,” Champagne said about the new winter parking rules in Tanner City. “We towed 15 cars, and that was at the request of the DPW.”

Today, Danvers begins new parking rules as part of a pilot program to modify its winter overnight ban. Any cars parked on Danvers streets for more than an hour during a snow emergency face being ticketed and, if they interfere with the plows, towed. Otherwise, on-street parking is allowed during the winter. Danvers will rely on its community notification system to get the word out, and it plans to evaluate the program, which runs until April 1.

“I was out with the winter operations crew until 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning,” said Department of Public Works Director of Operations Robert Lee.

“As best as I can tell or hear, I only heard one call to police,” he said, and that was for a car that slid into the road during the storm. Danvers got 3 inches of snow.

“It’s just common sense,” Lee said, “when there’s a snowstorm, don’t park in the street.”

In Peabody, which this winter switched to a new blue-light system to alert residents of a snow emergency, some vehicles in the downtown area were ticketed and towed, but the mayor’s office did not receive any complaints.

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