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Councilors Look To Change Springfield's Snow Storm Parking Rules

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After a blizzard of complaints about snow plowing, elected officials in the largest city in western Massachusetts are looking to make changes.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno apologized for the DPW’s performance following the first big snow storm of the season this month and promised to be better prepared next time.

An ordinance before the City Council Monday night would change the parking rules during snow storms.

City Councilor Marcus Williams said the current law requiring cars to move from one side of the street to the other every 12 hours is “confusing,”

" We are working together and will work with the administration to alleviate some of those concerns by these particular measures," said Williams.  He along with City Councilors Jesse Lederman, Orlando Ramos, and Trayce Whitfield have sponsored an ordiance on parking.

It would ban parking on the odd-side of the street for 24-hours after  a snow emergency is declared and ban parking on the even-side of the street during the next 24-hours.

An ordinance proposed by Councilor Ramos, that he plans to introduce in January, would  allow the city to clear snow from a sidewalk that has not been shoveled 24 hours after the end of a storm and then bill the property owner for the labor.

The city’s 311 call center had more than 3,000 complaints about snow plowing during the Dec 1-3 storm -- four times the call volume during past snow storms.

Sarno said he had directed the city's DPW director Chris Cignoli to take several steps including more agressive ticketing and towing of cars parked in violation of the snow ban.   The mayor's directive also called for better supervision of the subcontractors hired by the city who plow most of the residential sidestreets.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.