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Snowfall fallout: New town restrictions on parking reviewed

Updated 11:02 am, Thursday, February 14, 2013

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  • The Police Commission began a review Wednesday on whether the town should adopt regulations to govern street parking during storms and other emergencies. Here, a truck is encased in a Post Road snow bank left by a plow truck that had to maneuver around it after last weekend's blazzard. FAIRFIELD CITIZEN, CT 2/10/13 Photo: Mike Lauterborn / Fairfield Citizen contributed
    The Police Commission began a review Wednesday on whether the town should adopt regulations to govern street parking during storms and other emergencies. Here, a truck is encased in a Post Road snow bank left by a plow truck that had to maneuver around it after last weekend's blazzard. FAIRFIELD CITIZEN, CT 2/10/13 Photo: Mike Lauterborn

 

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Timing is everything.

Though it was an item on the Police Commission agenda prior to the blizzard that buried the town over the weekend, the question of whether Fairfield should have some sort of parking restrictions during snowstorms and other inclement weather could not have been more timely.

The commission began its discussion of possible restrictions at its meeting Wednesday, but no decisions were made. Chief Gary MacNamara stressed it was just the beginning of the conversation on whether regulations need to be imposed.

MacNamara said perhaps restrictions should be targeted only to particular areas of town, and he has asked the Department of Public Works to provide a list of local trouble spots.

The chief said because of concerns by DPW crews, parking is already restricted to one side of the road on the Unquowa Road bridge during snowstorms.

Commission member Samuel Lazinger said Bridgeport has signs that designate specific snow emergency routes in the city, meaning that during a snow emergency, parking is not allowed. "It doesn't interfere with normal parking," Lazinger said. "Maybe that's the way to go."

Representative Town Meeting member Ruth Smey said she lives on Old Stratfield Road, and there are always a lot of cars parked on the street whose owners have no alternatives.

She suggested adopting alternate-side-of-the-street parking throughout town during snow emergencies.

"I do believe there will be many different opinions," MacNamara said of possible parking restrictions, and noted that a townwide policy might need to be in the form of an ordinance adopted by the Representative Town Meeting.

Commission Chairman Walter Flynn asked if a list of streets that might be considered for restrictions should be published. MacNamara said if that proves to be the way the commission wants to go, the areas under review would be publicly posted and noticed as traffic surveys.

"I'll look toward (Public Works Supt.) Scott Bartlett and (Public Works Director) Joe Michelangelo to get that list," MacNamara said. "Obviously, they're busy doing other things right now."

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