WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield’s town council voted unanimously Tuesday in favor of prohibiting parking on any street in town when 3 or more inches of snow have fallen until snowfall stops and the entire width of the road has been plowed. Blowing or shoveling snow into a plowed street would also become illegal if the proposed changes to the ordinance containing the rules, No. 2070, pass a second vote.
Currently, parking is prohibited only “on a handful” of streets in town during a snowstorm, Town Administrator Jim Gildea said at the town council’s conference meeting Tuesday.
The changes were inspired by the snow report created after 2016’s blizzard, Gildea said. The penalty for breaking the rules could be a fine of up to $150, he explained.
“The public works committee, the public safety committee and the code review and town property committee have all weighed in on this,” Gildea said. "We got a lot of public feedback."
The changes to the law have been discussed over the years, Councilman Sam Della Fera said.
“I think the blizzard this year was the tipping point,” Della Fera said. “Other towns do it — prohibit parking on streets during snowstorms — and this would bring Westfield into that arena. It is a culture change, but I think that once people get used to it they’ll be very pleased with the widely plowed streets. And I know I get frustrated all the time when I see residents throwing snow into a freshly plowed street, and again, over the years I’ve been contacted by residents who say we should prohibit that and, again, I think that this year’s blizzard was the tipping point.”
Both Della Fera and Gildea acknowledged that the new rules require a “culture change.”
“We’re going to give it a shot,” Delle Fera said. “Nothing is ever written in stone, but I think if we give it some time and people get used to whenever possible moving their vehicles off the street and allowing it to be plowed, I think we’re all going to be very pleased with the results.”
Mayor Andy Skibitsky and Councilman Frank Arena were absent from the meetings.