New Snow Ordinance In Effect For Grand Rapids
If the streets are lined up with cars parked on both sides, emergency vehicles aren’t able to get through. It then becomes a matter of public safety, according to Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson.
“We have to be able to get to emergencies such as fires, medical emergencies and that sort of thing,” said Grand Rapids Police Chief Scott Johnson. “The ordinance we had just was not working.”
The existing snow ordinance was amended to exclude snow emergency routes and snow plowing on multiple days. No one is allowed to park on the street between Nov. 1 and May 1 as long as snow removal operations are in progress.
“This is the ordinance we felt we had to put in place in Grand Rapids in order to efficiently and effectively clear streets so that our public safety vehicles can get down the street in case of an emergency,” said Johnson.
Once the snow is removed anyone is free to park until the next time the roads need to be plowed. U-S Highway 38 was in the process of being cleared out to improve safety and visibility.
“During the winters wind roads grow,” said Public Works Director Jeff Davies. “With the amount of snow we’ve had their lanes narrow up and we’re trying to widen the lanes back up to the gutter.”
Since the ordinance was implemented on Dec. 28, 130 tickets have been issued. One man told me he received a ticket and had to pay the $15 fine for a car that’s not running. His solution was moving the car into his driveway.
“When the plows have to be out to clear the streets we ask people to move their vehicles off from the street until the plows come through then they can park back on the street again,” said Johnson.
Some of the cars on the street are inoperable or have expired documentation so people choose to park on the street. Tom Walters appreciates the new rules.
“Well, probably something had to be done because some cars are parked on the edge of the street for quite a long period of time, ” said Walters, Grand Rapids resident. “I think they tried to warn the people, give a little warning at first and I can see where the city gets kind of exasperated because some people don’t move their car.”
If it snows more than two inches, they will come out and plow the snow.