Latest Warning: “Aggressive” Towing In Newly Plowed Streets

Some major neighborhood streets will start seeing a single lane plowed Sunday—and if you nudge your car in the way, the city plans to tow it.

That was the latest word Sunday morning from the man overseeing New Haven’s response to Winter Storm Nemo, city Chief Administrative Officer Rob Smuts.

The city has been moving into phase two of its response to the record blizzard, which dumped 34 inches of snow on New Haven in less than a day.

The first phase involve plowing the bunch of most heavily traveled roads—Dixwell, Howard, Whalley, Grand avenues, Church & Chapel—in order for emergency vehicles to be able to travel the city. Mission accomplished.

The current phase involves plowing a single lane in the next most heavily traveled roads in each neighborhood. The ban remains on people driving on those roads. The idea is to enable fire trucks and ambulances to get close enough—a few blocks or so—to every street in town to deal with a fire or other emergency.

Smuts cautioned that people should not take that as a signal to inch their cars out into the road. The lanes need to stay clear to handle fire trucks.

He said he knows people have been trying to dig out their cars and may be looking for places to put them. But in order to keep people safe in emergencies, the city plans to get all the cars out of the way, even if they’re only partway in the lane.

“As we open up roads and people start digging out,” Smuts said, “we will be aggressively towing if people block the narrow routes that we open up. When we initially open a street up, it will have just a narrow travel lane, just enough for fire apparatus. If people encroach in that with a car, we will tow them. We will be very aggressive about that.”

The city cautions it could take days for plows to get to many side streets. Officials continue to plead with New Haveners not to drive on local roads; dealing with stuck cars has hampered the plowing effort.

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posted by: urban ed on February 10, 2013  10:10am

Please make this more prominent.

posted by: Pat from Westville on February 10, 2013  10:43am

Has the city given any thought to trucking some of the snow away, as they did 2 years ago?

The problem I see on my street (Fountain) is that although the street has been plowed, many of the sidewalks remain impassable. So pedestrians are walking in the plowed street while ever more numerous scofflaws, mainly SUVs, continue to defy the driving ban. Sooner or later there will be accidents and injuries from vehicles hitting pedestrians.

At least the walls of snow between sidewalks and the street should be taken away so when the buses atart running again, bus riders will not have to climb over snow banks to get on the bus.

Just a few ideas.

posted by: RevKev on February 10, 2013  11:42am

Thank you to all those who have been working tirelessly to dig us out of this mess. We appreciate you and your efforts.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

(Understand, though… I am still going to scream and call you names when you plow back under the car I spent all day digging out. lol)

posted by: urban ed on February 10, 2013  11:54am

@RevKev….SO important to keep our sense of humor now. Thanks.

posted by: HenryCT on February 10, 2013  7:47pm

Whalley Avenue is full of cars. Emergency vehicles seem to be having a hard time getting through. Clearly the ban on cars traveling in our city streets is being ignored. Are all these cars’ drivers emergency workers? What is the explanation?

posted by: streever on February 10, 2013  9:04pm

Henry, I believe the ban was lifted already at that point.

Towing: right on. I’ve seen way too many people trying to drive up tiny unplowed streets already.

posted by: HenryCT on February 10, 2013  10:40pm

From the city’s website:

” The travel ban for New Haven will remain in place throughout the day tomorrow, Sunday, February 10th. ”