SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

December 20, 2012

New winter parking rules begin in Danvers Jan. 1

BY ETHAN FORMAN
STAFF WRITER

---- — DANVERS — The new winter parking ban system that goes into effect Jan. 1 is designed to keep roads clear of cars during snowstorms while lessening the hassle of finding off-street parking when there is no snow in the forecast.

Under the pilot program, residents with limited parking, such as those living downtown, will not longer face fines or being towed if they leave their cars out on the street overnight when there is no snow. If there is snow, however, residents must move their cars off-street and face fines and being towed if they don’t.

Selectmen voted Tuesday to move forward with the pilot program, a change from the town’s overnight winter parking ban which bans parking on the streets for more than one hour between 1 and 6 a.m. during the late fall, winter and early spring. The new winter parking ban only goes into effect when snow is about to blanket the region and crews are gearing up to plow. It will then be rescinded when a snow emergency is called off.

“It won’t be in place unless we let you know it’s in place,” said Assistant Town Manager Diane Norris of the parking ban.

The town plans to use a community notification system and two electronic message boards to get the word out about when an overnight parking ban will be in effect, in addition to newspapers, cable TV, a local radio station, the town’s website and social media. A second call and notification will be made when the parking ban is lifted. Norris said the town does not plan to install a blue light system of flashing lights to alert residents to the winter parking ban.

Under the pilot program, vehicles left on the street during a parking ban face a $15 parking ticket, and if towed out of the way, a $125 bill for towing and a $35 a day bill for storage.

Norris said when police come across a car parked in the street during a winter parking ban, they knock on doors and make calls to try and get residents to move their cars off the street before ticketing and plowing.

The trial program will continue until April 1, at which time it will be evaluated, according to a memo from the town.

Town residents who want to add an email address or mobile phone number to the notification system may do so on the town’s website, http://www.danvers.govoffice.com; click on the “Connect CTY” icon on the right hand bottom section of the site and follow the prompts that say “Modify Contact Information.”

Staff writer Ethan Forman can be reached at 978-338-2673, by email at eforman@salemnews.com or on Twitter at @DanverSalemNews.