New Snowstorm Strategies Announced

Thomas Breen photoDuring the next snow storm, look out for parking ban “zones.” Park in one of 14 designated city lots. And don’t park on the odd side of the street in residential areas.

City emergency operations chief Rick Fontana, Mayor Toni Harp, and three other city officials provided those snowstorm communication updates at a Wednesday afternoon press conference in the city’s Emergency Operation Center in the basement of 200 Orange St.

On a cold but snow-free December afternoon, Fontana and Harp announced that the city has made a few changes to how it will communicate parking ban information to residents during snow emergencies.

• The Office of Emergency Management and the Transportation, Traffic, and Parking department have put together new double-sided English and Spanish snow emergency brochures with information on where to sign up to receive city emergency alerts (here) and what number to call to learn about the latest snow-related parking ban (203-946-SNOW, which is 203-946-7669).

• The emergency operations and traffic teams have created three new zone designations for snow emergency parking bans. Zone A refers to the Downtown area, which is where the parking bans tend to fall first because of their proximity to the city’s hospitals and other critical city areas. Zone B refers to the existing snow emergency routes throughout the city, critical arteries like Whitney Avenue and Whalley Avenue. And Zone C refers to all other residential areas. Fontana and city transit chief Doug Hausladen said that the snow emergency signs may be updated next year to incorporate the zone designations, but that the Everbridge emergency alert system will start incorporating the zone designations in its messaging this year.

• The city has designated 14 school parking lots as free parking areas for city residents during snow emergencies. The city will also encourage residents to park in specific sections of the designated lots, so as not to block snow plows working on clearing the lots during snow emergencies.

The 14 school parking lots that are designated snow emergency parking areas are:

Conte West School at 511 Chapel St.
Betsy Ross School at 150 Kimberly Ave.
Wilbur Cross School at 181 Mitchell Dr.
Clinton Avenue School at 239 Clinton Ave.
Columbus Academy at 255 Blatchley Ave.
King Robinson School at 150 Fournier St.
Lincoln Bassett School at 130 Basset St.
Hill Central School at 140 Legion Ave.
Hill Regional Career High School at 140 Legion Ave.
Beecher School at 100 Jewell St.
Mauro-Sheridan School at 191 Fountain St.
John C. Daniels School at 569 Congress Ave.
Davis School at 35 Davis St.
Barnard School at 170 Derby Ave.

• The city’s snow emergency messaging will now inform residents that parking is not allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street. Previously, the city told residents that parking is allowed on the even-numbered side of the street, but found that there are a number of streets throughout the city where even side parking is banned year round.

• The city has added new blue snow emergency lights to traffic signals on Howard Avenue, Fountain Street, in Newhallville and in Morris Cove. Hausladen said that the city now has 15 blue snow emergency lights citywide. When residents see those lights flashing, they should call 946-SNOW for a parking ban update.

Department of Public Works Director Jeff Pescosolido said that the city has also add four new snow plows to its fleet, and will be adding two more in January. The department has also modified 10 of its trucks to contain an “on board wet system,” that allows the trucks to pre-treat city streets before snow storms hit with beet juice, which helps prevent streets from icing over.

Pescosolido said that last year his department responded to 16 storms, or “plowable events,” and that this year’s winter snow storm budget is roughly $676,000, which is the same as what the department’s budget was for snow storms last year.

“All together New Haven is ready to treat, plow, and otherwise maintain 221 miles of roadway,” Harp said, “each with potential for treacherous winter driving.”

Click on the Facebook Live video below to watch the full press conference.

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posted by: Xavier on December 5, 2018  5:08pm

Is fontana part of the police department or fire department? I can make out his uniform patch.

posted by: Lisa on December 5, 2018  6:30pm

This is great if the city actually enforces the parking ban.  If the ban isn’t enforced, we are still faced with th same issue of ever narrowing streets.  The other thing of note: the only lot available to East Rock is Wilbur Cross.  Why not the school at the corner of Bradley and Orange streets?  Why not East Rock school?  What happened to the Granite square option?

posted by: NewHaven06512 on December 5, 2018  6:58pm

@Xavier neither, its a status thing with him, he’s a civilian and he’s got a history.

posted by: Bohica on December 6, 2018  1:38pm

Sounds familiar? Didn’t we have off street parking in school lots like 12 years ago and that didn’t work.