Salt Lake City considering parking restrictions on snow days

Published: Monday, Oct. 28 2013 8:23 p.m. MDT

Salt Lake City is weighing whether to impose restrictions on street parking during snowstorms and when snow is on the ground, and it wants feedback from its residents.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City could impose restrictions on street parking during snowstorms and when snow is on the ground, but it wants feedback from residents before moving forward with any plan.

A city official said on-street parking restrictions would allow street crews to clear snow more effectively from city streets during snowstorms.

Among the suggestions outlined on the Open City Hall website is one banning parking on city streets between 1 and 6 a.m. from Nov. 1 to March 30 when it is snowing or when snow is on the ground.

In areas where parking is normally scarce, residents would be asked to park on the sunnier north and east sides of streets, or on even or odd sides of streets depending on whether the snowy conditions fell on an even or odd day of the week.

“To start the conversation, we certainly have identified things that have worked for other cities,” Salt Lake City Public Services Director Rick Graham said Monday. But he said it's possible no changes to parking regulations will be made if public sentiment is strongly against a change.

Graham said Monday the city hoped to have a pilot program in place by late January or early February, with the aim of improving service, safety and convenience while reducing costs.

In the Avenues, an area of the city where parking is a challenge regardless of the conditions, reaction to parking regulations was mixed. Tina Compton said she saw value in making it easier to plow roads after watching near disasters unfold on the streets near her home.

“I’ve seen a snowplow be plowed right into by a car that couldn’t stop on the hill here,” Compton said, recalling one past winter. “You’d have piles of snow, and it got so you’d have one lane of traffic going in a direction and you really had two lanes that needed to get by.”

Terry Wilkinson, who said he has worked in the area pulling cars from snowdrifts, said changes would be helpful.

“That’s what I suggested, too — just let that snowplow come down one side of the road, move your car to the other side and then come down this side of the road,” Wilkinson said.

Still, with one in five homes having a driveway in the area near where she lives, Jennifer Puhl questioned how more parking regulations could possibly help.

“If everybody was at work, you could do it from 8 until 5,” Puhl said. “But when everybody gets home, it’s full again.”

City residents can weigh in by email at publicservicesinfo@slcgov.com, or by phone at 801-535-7116. Comments can also be mailed to Salt Lake City Public Services, 451 South State Street Room 138, P.O. Box 5469, Salt Lake City, UT 84114-5480.

Email: aadams@deseretnews.com

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