As of 1:15 p.m. Monday, you may now park on the even side of the street everywhere in New Haven. Including 39 or so neighborhood streets that previously had a full parking ban.
One exception: parking will be banned on a few downtown streets for six hours overnight.
After that, where to park, and where you might get towed, all gets somewhat complicated, as the city continues to try to dig out from recent snowstorms.
The simplest solution seems to be: Park for the week at a school lot instead of on the street. Period.
In any case, don’t park on the odd side of any residential street through 3 p.m. Sunday. Please?
Though you’ll get the OK to return to the odd side of 39 or so special streets targeted for snow-removal operations, once payloaders come through.
And everywhere else, you’ll get towed only on trash pick-up days. Which have been moved back a day for the Monday presidential-birthday holiday; and which may get pushed back again depending on how big a snowfall comes on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, you can sign up for emergency communications from the city about what’s happening on your street, here.
The confusion stemmed from the ongoing effort to keep up with consecutive snow storms (with another snowfall expect to hit the city overnight); and to try to catch up with problems caused by the city’s failure to enforce an odd-side parking ban on neighborhood streets, leaving numerous roads unpassable and unplowable.
Emergency operations chief Rick Fontana appealed for public patience Monday afternoon. “We are working hard. There’s a lot of snow. It’s not just New Haven,” Fontana said. “We’ll get it done.”
As announcements (and towing and sign-posting actions) seemed to contradict each other over the past 24 hours, readers have asked the Independent to try to figure out exactly what the city wants them to do.
We spent a while with numerous traffic, public-works, and police officials early Monday afternoon seeking consistent answers. They went back and double-checked some facts among themselves. Here’s the best we can now report:
• At 1 p.m. city traffic chief Doug Hausladen lifted the ban on even-side parking for 39 or so narrow streets where the city is undergoing a special operation: Not just plowing, but removing huge mounds of ice and snow that have left many of them unpassable. The city will still ticket and tow cars parked on the odd side of those 39 or so streets on days when teams of truck-drivers will come for the removal operations, which began Monday. On Sunday a ban had been announced for both sides; but then city crews posted signs on only the odd signs of the first batch of streets to be cleared.
• The identity of those 39 or so streets is somewhat fluid. The city released a list of what it said were 39 narrow streets late last week; the list had 37 streets on it. Hausladen said Monday that Pleasant Street has since been added to this list, for a Friday or Saturday snow-removal option. (Click here for a previous story continuing the full day-by-day list for 37 of the 39 or so streets.) The list was based on narrow streets where snow crews had particular trouble a year ago, according to public works chief Doug Arndt. It is being constantly updated; for instance, the city swung into action on Pardee Place, a narrow one-way road behind the CVS in upper Westville, Monday morning when the fire department reported that trucks couldn’t get through. The city was following up on a complaint from a neighbor, according to Rick Fontana. “Once we found it was a public-safety issue, that was the first street we went to” this morning, he said. Hausladen and other officials arrived on scene to ask people to move their cars, getting help from Alder Angela Russell, automatic emergency phone calls, and ticketing and towing crews. They all eventually got the street cleared.
Russell Monday afternoon asked why it took so long to declare Pardee Place part of the emergency route—and then towing began so quickly. She said the small street had problems with plowing and access in past years, she said. And this year neighbors have been towed several times in recent weeks without advance notice. The city didn’t post any notices Monday morning. “I found out at 7:45 this morning” about the sudden plan to tow, and “15 minutes later they’re ticketing and towing,” Russell said.
• Crews will post notices 24 hours in advance of arriving on any of those 39 or so narrow streets to conduct the removal operation, so you’ll know that tow trucks are coming. “We have to get those streets open and safe,” said Fontana.
• A citywide ban on odd-side parking on all residential streets remains in effect through Sunday afternoon. That’s designed to clear the way for plows to clear wider paths of travel by tackling the mounds of ice and snow packed along lanes they couldn’t get to last week because of the lack of enforcement of the parking ban. So technically, you’re violating the ban if at any time this week you have a car parked on the odd side of the street. However, only on trash pick-up day will the ticketers and tow-trucks come in. “My resources allow me to ticket and tow on one-fifth of the city five days in a row,” Hausladen said. However he asked people to honor the ban for the whole week so crews can return to mop up or address new problems.
• Then, of course, there’s the coming snowfall. Parts of the state are expected to receive anywhere from 1 to 8 inches. New Haven may be spared the heavier fall, but if not, all the plans are likely to be modified again.
• From midnight until 6 a.m. Tuesday, the city will tag and tow cars parked along Chapel Street between State and Orange as well as around Gateway Community College, according to Hausladen. Signs will go up in advance to alert parkers.
Meanwhile, Arndt of public works reported that the city is two plow-trucks down from last year, when it had 16 on the road to cover 22 routes. That’s because the trucks got old and were no longer safe to put out on the road. He said his staff made those decisions; they were unrelated to ongoing inspections at the public works department by the state motor vehicle department, which have focused on the condition of city-owned buses.
The city has contended for years with an old, declining fleet of plows. Arndt said he has submitted a $3.8 million capital request for the upcoming fiscal year that includes money for eight to 10 new trucks.
Reminder: Sign up for the latest city alerts. That’s the safest. Click here to do that.