Government

Westfield Town Council Working to Create Alternative Parking Options During Snowstorms

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This winter was the first under a new rule that cars must be removed from all Westfield streets when three or more inches of snow have fallen. Credits: Jill D'Ambrosio
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WESTFIELD, NJ — Members of Westfield’s town council are working on a solution for residents who have no place to park their cars during a snowstorm.

The winter of 2016/2017 was the first under a new rule that cars must be removed from all Westfield streets when three or more inches of snow have fallen until snowfall stops and the entire width of the road has been plowed.

Keith Loughlin, chair of Westfield’s Public Safety, Transportation & Parking committee, told the council at its conference meeting Tuesday what his committee has discussed.

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“We had two snowstorms, and during both of those storms we found that the vast majority of the Westfield residents moved their cars from the roads in neighborhoods where they were able to,” Loughlin said.

As a result, it became dramatically easier for the Department of Public Works to clear the roads, he explained. This winter, the police department only gave out warnings to people who left their cars on the streets during the storms.

“They looked like tickets but, fortunately, they weren’t tickets,” Loughlin said.

In the meantime, he said, “We were able to identify areas where it was difficult to park off the street or impossible, and for those areas we’re going to offer alternative places to park, or maybe alternate side of the street.”

Once that is determined, he said, the town would issue real tickets.

“The goal, like we’ve always said, is not to give tickets,” Loughlin said. “The goal is to plow the streets. And this year, I can speak for myself, I received nothing but positive comments with regard to Public Works' ability to remove snow.”

The committee also reviewed sidewalk snow removal regulations and is looking at ways to increase compliance, Loughlin said.

“We also reviewed several traffic safety requests throughout the neighborhoods in town,” he said. “These requests come directly from the residents and I continue to encourage residents to contact us with their thoughts and suggestions on areas where we can focus on.”

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