WHAT ARE THE WINTER PARKING REGULATIONS?
The current Ordinance, in place since 1994, requires alternate side parking on many streets between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., and again between 5 p.m. and 8 a.m. It also prohibits parking on many smaller streets between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. Those winter parking restrictions are in effect between December 1st and March 31st.
In the past, the Ordinance was not enforced until the first snowfall each year. After the first snowfall, the Ordinance was enforced each and every day, regardless of weather conditions. These parking restrictions are necessary to allow the public works crew to properly and safely clear the streets of snow. Unfortunately, the regulations caused great inconvenience to the residents.
Today, there are many methods of communicating current information to the residents. Borough Council believes that we can enforce the regulations when necessary, and relax enforcement when possible.
Effective immediately, the winter parking regulations will only be enforced when deemed necessary by staff. A notice will be placed here on the website announcing when the regulations are “in effect” or are “not in effect.” The same notice will be posted on the borough’s Facebook page.
For those that may not have access to the Internet, a call to the borough office at 472-8780 is all that will be necessary to verify whether vehicles parked on the street need to be moved. During business hours, staff will be able to answer the question. After hours, the recording will inform the caller if the regulations are in effect or not.
Winter parking restrictions will be placed in effect with every forecasted snowfall, and should be considered in effect with every unexpected snowfall. Depending on conditions, the restrictions will often remain in effect for several days following a snowfall. Crews often work for several days to push snow back from the curbs, to clear intersections, and to clear slush from the streets. Residents will be required to move vehicles until such time that the announcement on the website and Facebook is again changed. It will be everyone’s responsibility to verify the current enforcement status of the winter parking regulations. Remember…because it snowed two days ago and hasn’t snowed since; the winter parking regulations may still be in effect. Check the website!
In addition, in order to allow for clearing of snow, all parking is banned in the municipal and county lots from 2:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m. every day. No parking is allowed in the downtown on Wednesdays from 4:00 a.m. – 6:00 a.m.
WHEN THE SNOWFALL STARTS
An important step in dealing with snowfall is street salting. Center Street, High Street and Highland Avenue are of course State roads and are maintained by PennDOT. Our top priority is given to the Borough’s main streets. Those streets are routes that the Borough has found to have the heaviest year-round traffic, and usually are the wider streets running north/south (such as Julian St. and Caroline St.) or east/west (such as Horner St. and Ogle St).
Snow removal operations begin as soon as frozen precipitation begins accumulating. All operations begin by salting streets. This initial application of salt is very important to the success of our operations because of the brine which is created by the chemical reaction between the salt and snow. The brine prevents the snow and ice from bonding to the pavement, allowing traffic or snow plows to move it.
WHEN THE SNOWFALL CONTINUES
When two or three inches of snow have accumulated and more is expected, snow is more economically removed by plowing rather than salting. All Borough maintained streets will be plowed by Public Works personnel. Our first responsibility is to open the main streets. These streets are the key to maintaining a steady flow of traffic since most residents live within one block of such routes. The plows then continue to all smaller streets to “open up” each one in sequence. If the storm continues to intensify, the trucks remain in that same pattern until the storm abates. When that condition occurs, the trucks then begin to “widen out” all roads by pushing the accumulated snow back to the curb line and clearing the intersections. Remember that trained crews work round-the-clock during such storms to keep streets open and passable. If there is a problem concerning street conditions, call the Public Works Department at 472-7811.
AFTER THE STORM IS OVER
Crews continue to monitor all roads for icy spots and areas where winds redeposit the snow in traffic lanes. Usually salt is applied to all streets so the riding surface remains driveable. If the accumulation was particularly heavy, the Borough removes the snow from the business district and busier intersections. The snow is loaded or blown into trucks and hauled away. Crews are also dispatched to clear the catch basins so the melting snow can run off. You may wish to avoid a potential problem and also be of assistance to your neighbors by cleaning off the catch basin or shoveling out a nearby fire hydrant.
WHY STREETS ARE NOT CLEAN
Salt is applied to all streets during winter storms. But in order for the salt to work effectively, it requires some help. In order for salt to melt all snow from a street it requires sunlight, heat or traffic.
Have you ever noticed that High Street and Center Street are always bare of snow? That is not because they are salted more heavily; they are just traveled more. Likewise, the Borough’s main streets are usually the next to melt completely, while the side streets will require more time to melt.
If there is still snow on your street, it has more than likely already been heavily salted. Give the sun and some traffic a chance to work with the salt.
HELPING US HELP
Since a heavy snowstorm can disrupt the normal flow of everyday living, it can be a frustrating experience. Here are some tips to help eliminate some of that frustration:
Before it snows, remember last year’s problems and try to tackle them in advance. If you do your own snow removal, have your tools and supplies handy. Shovels, snow blowers, sand, and rock salt should be ready for the season. If you hire someone to do the job for you, make those arrangements early. It’s tough to find someone in the middle of a storm. A helpful hint: When shoveling out the mouth of your driveway, throw it to the right or “downstream”. Do not throw it into the street. It will only be redeposited when a plow comes around again. In addition, a patch of snow or ice on a clear street will cause a hazardous condition.
Keep a flashlight, a battery powered radio, and emergency equipment on hand in case of a disruption in the power supply. Make arrangements to have adequate food supplies on hand (preferably food that does not require electricity to open or prepare).
Plan alternate ways to travel to main roads and to your place of employment. Most of all, use common sense.
LISTEN FOR SNOW ALERTS
Area news media will announce approaching storms and will disseminate information on school closings and meeting cancellations. They will also note road closings or re-routings. Vehicles parked illegally or abandoned on streets are subject to towing at the owner’s expense and/or ticketing. Please remove your car from the street, if at all possible, as soon as you are aware of a snow alert.
Please do not go out during or immediately after a snowstorm unless it is truly necessary. Crews have many hours of hard work to complete their snow clearing operations, and less traffic on the streets means that they will be able to clear more quickly and completely.
Remember, whether it is your driveway for which you are responsible or the 15 miles of streets for which we are responsible, snow removal is an arduous and time consuming job.
The Borough will be aware of any impending snowstorms and will alert crews before the bad weather strikes. If you have already called about a legitimate driving hazard, please understand that the Borough will be there as soon as possible. Also keep in mind the Borough cannot shovel ridges or rows from your driveway that were left by the snowplow, nor can Borough crews plow private property.