PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The snowstorm predicted for Wednesday night will yield a new parking regulation for city residents.
Pittsfield is preparing for this winter's first snow emergency and the implementation of the new alternate-side parking ordinance passed just last month to facilitate snow cleanup.
That means that between 7 p.m. on Wednesday and 7 p.m. on Thursday, vehicles may be parked on the EVEN side of the street, and between 7 p.m. on Thursday and 7 p.m. on Friday vehicles may be parked on the ODD side of the street.
Pittsfield declared the snow emergency to begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
According to the National Weather Service, there is at least an approximately 70 percent chance that there will be 12 inches or more of snow, and about a 20 percent chance that there will be 18 inches or more.
"The confidence level that this will be a significant snowstorm is high," Commissioner of Public Utilities Ricardo Morales said.
During this time residents are asked to use off-street parking if possible and follow alternate-side parking regulations if not possible. Off-street parking is always preferred, but the city recognizes that high population neighborhoods such as Morningside and the West Side do not have an abundance of parking.
"We're not asking people to just go and park on the street, we're asking people to park off-street, and if you don't have a place to park you can park on the street, just follow alternate parking," said Morales.
In late November, the City Council adopted the new alternate-side parking that dictates which side of the street vehicles can be parked on a given day based on even and odd street numbers.
Alternate side parking aims to allow for more efficient seasonal cleanup and for high-density areas that may not have sufficient parking to be able to park on the street through the winter.
Morales said the city uses a number of factors to determine if a snowfall qualifies as a snow emergency, including snow accumulation, snowfall rate, temperature, the amount of snow already on the ground, the amount of ice on the ground, and the duration of the event. Expected snowfall and timing are the big factors that the city looks at.
Enforcement of alternate side parking will be as efficient as possible. Police will be in circulation during the snow emergency to monitor the new parking regulation.
"If it gets to the point where we will have to tow vehicles out of the way, we will have to do that," Morales said.
Up-to-date information on the snow emergency can be found on Pittsfield's newly established winter hotline at 413-449-5544.
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