perils of parking
by Jody Reese
With Christmas closing
fast and snow on the ground it can only mean one thing to Manchester
renters: parking pains.
Manchester city government enforces ó even when they do not plow ó its
odd-even parking scheme from Nov. 15 to May 15. Itís absolute stupidity.
system is easy enough to follow. Cars must be parked on the even side of
the street (based on building numbers) on the even number days as of 1
issue is that there are not enough single sides to streets in most
rental areas, such as the West Side, Center City or downtown historic
district. On days when there is no snow and consequently no plows the
ordinance is still enforced. Tickets start at $15.
Supporters of the ordinance have claimed that by keeping vehicles on
only one side of the street during the winter months fire and ambulance
trucks can get through narrow streets. Though this could be a problem on
a few West Side streets, itís not a real issue in most of the city. The
streets are wide enough to accommodate a fire truck with cars parked on
both sides of the street with snowbanks. But the narrow street argument
seems disingenuous. Motorists park on both sides of the street during
guessing that the aldermen support this ordinance because it makes
money. And the aldermen would rather fine renters than raise property
taxes even a tenth of a percent.
what the aldermen in their property tax haze forget is that unfair
parking schemes detract from the cityís quality of life and make people
less likely to stay here, buy homes and open businesses. To be blunt,
itís bad for business.
Then, there are the dreaded snow emergencies. During those city
government bans all street parking. It even closes many city-owned lots,
making finding parking in some neighborhoods impossible. This is just
bad parking management.
north in Montreal the city has a rolling snow emergency, block by block.
Plows and some tow trucks drive down a street and sound a horn to move.
Everyone gets five minutes to move or the vehicle is towed. But unlike
in Manchester where itís towed to a lot run by the tow companies that
takes no credit cards or checks, the towed vehicle is towed to a nearby
street and ticketed. The ticket covers the cost of the tow and the city
pays the tow drivers. The city gets its money when the ticket is paid.
If it is not paid, the vehicle cannot be registered.
Itís finally time the aldermen got smart about winter parking and
started working with residents, not against them.