Councilors Consider Alternate Street Parking Plan for Oswego

OSWEGO, NY – During a flurry of discussion at this week’s Physical Services Committee, councilors debated the merits of alternate street parking.

The proposal is in response to the on-going discussion regarding the dearth of parking in the Port City, especially during the winter months, explained Council President Ron Kaplewicz.

“We are looking for some creative options for providing additional parking in some of our residential neighborhoods,” he said. “We are proposing, I consider it a fairly bold change, but certainly not one that isn’t used in other cities.”

The plan would supercede the current winter parking ban.

The recommendation from the parking committee deals with alternate street parking, the councilor explained.

The proposal is, beginning Dec. 1 (at the discretion of the mayor and if weather conditions warrant) alternate side of the street parking restriction is imposed.

You can park any vehicle on any (city) street or highway from 1 to 6 a.m. on even numbered side on even calendar days and the odd numbered side of the street on odd calendar days, Kaplewicz said.

“So each day you’d alternate what side of the road you park on,” he said. “This will open up a great deal of parking in some of our crowded residential neighborhoods. This creates a whole new challenge for our DPW.”

“Once this is imposed, it’s the kind of thing where you have to play hard ball,” he continued. “You have to have a zero tolerance policy because if we can only plow one side of the street one day we need to be able to plow the other side of the street the next day. If your car is left there, you forget to move it, you will be ticketed and towed.”

“It’s worth a shot. I think we should look into it; other cities have done it very successfully,” Mayor Tom Gillen pointed out.

The downtown district will be excluded from the proposal, which shall be implemented solely in the residential neighborhoods.

“If it’s not right, we’ll take another look at it. Over the course of the winter we’re going to have to listen very carefully to what our (DPW) commissioner has to say and the residents and how we can make this thing work most effectively,” Kaplewicz said. “It opens up lots of spaces in our city for residential parking.”

“Are we going to do this through the whole city or spot?” asked Councilor Shawn Walker.

The whole city, Kaplewicz replied.

A city resident also asked what impact the proposal would have on “snow emergency routes.”

“If in fact a snow emergency is declared, then all bets are off,” the council president said. “Then the mayor, at his discretion, can order all cars off the streets and that would be publicized in the (media). They have to be off the streets so we can get the streets cleared. The alternate street parking would be suspended so that we could get cars off the streets.”

Councilor Fran Enwright said he supports the plan.

He has been working to improve parking in his ward.

“The pride in the neighborhood is coming back. People are excited about the way it is looking; it is looking so much better, not having cars parked up over sidewalks, kids are able to walk to school without having to walk out in the road,” he said.

Winter presents a new set of parking issues, he continued. The proposal would address those issues, he said.

“I don’t think we want to take a step backwards,” he said. There are some streets that are one side only parking, Enwright pointed out, adding that will have to be addressed somehow in the plan.

“As a whole this alternate street parking is going to add some relief to the neighborhood. It’s going to look good and it’s really going to help bring that pride back and bring the city back in the right direction. So, I commend everybody who worked on this,” he said.

The resolution will be forwarded to the full council to consider and set a public hearing regarding the change

Councilors said they’d like to have the proposal in place by Dec. 1, the date historically that the current winter parking ban begins. The ban runs through March 31, unless otherwise ordered by the mayor.


  1. What a silly idea, alternate parking in the winter. The city can’t keep the streets plowed now, what will they do with cars parked there. I know I will be extremely upset if my street is a mess because the city plows half the street one day and the other half the next day. Sounds like i will end up clearing an awful lot of snow due to this nonsense!

  2. Please consider this very carefully. On our west side of the street, we have eight spots, with two designated for law offices during the day, but open after 5 or 6PM. Even in good weather, our street is too narrow for a fire truck to go through when there is parking on the other side of the street, let alone when our very serious Oswego snowfall makes cars park a whole car width from the curb.

    In my neighborhood, a landlord put in multiple curb cuts on the east side to house his multi-family dwellings back in the 1990s, essentially eliminating all but approximately four or five parking spots on that side of the street. So when we needed it most, we’d lose three or more spots. Trying to finagle out of driveways, but when the residents, mostly students, have guests parking on the side that doesn’t have parking, it is dangerous and difficult in fine weather, let alone in winter when the snowbanks provide us with serious ‘blind spots.’

    I believe you are opening a hornet’s nest with this jump to provide more parking. I believe that each landlord has to provide parking for his residents ‘on premises,’ and if this is not available on the property, then you cannot rent to that number of people. We had to put in a cumbersome railroad style parking situation twenty-five years ago, and we live with less rent because we cannot provide separate parking for more than two cars.

    So, think about this. IF our first new car in 30 years gets damaged due to city-related issues, I don’t think I will be happy. IF residents suffer physical injury, I think insurance companies will seek compensation from the municipality. As a tax payer, I think I would not be happy with this, nor will the Mayor’s administration (I would hazard a guess).

    THINK this one through CAREFULLY, please.


  3. Ronny Kap you haven’t got a clue. Why don’t you get out there in one of those huge plow trucks and try to manuver (sp) around those cars. You know darn well, that some idiot is going to park on the wrong side of the street. Why don’t use put your so called creativity to good use and get some industry here with some respectful jobs. The DPW needs the streets clear at night so they can do their job and get them cleaned up during the winter snow. Just because we had if mild last year doesn’t mean we are going to be that lucky this year or the next and so on.

  4. So the DPW will burn TWICE the fuel to plow one street over TWO days? What if we get a two day “nuisance” snow? The streets will never get cleaned up. Somebody needs to get their head(s) out of their armpit(s). Play hardball with the “old” system and tow the cars off of the streets. The city needs the revenue and the HUDders and college kids need to be reminded that they can’t do as they please.

  5. I think it is about time that the city start something like this! Most of the complainers have driveways many of us dont yet we still have to drive to work.

  6. I like the idea that the council is trying to make changes for the better, but I don’t think they have completely thought this one out. Yes other cities do have alternate parking, but for instance Syracuse has alternate parking, but they also have coverage 24/7. Oswego only has coverage 16 hrs a day 5 days a week. So I see a lot of overtime. Second they say if there is a snow emergency they will order all cars off the street. Where do they expect all these cars to go. If people don’t keep the snow shoveled from green space or where ever they would have parked if they had to get there cars off the street there could be 4 to 6 ft snow banks there which would be near impossible to remove during a snow emergency. I think they need to take there time and plan it out. They can always implement the alternate parking after winter has started but you can’t stop alternate parking midstream.

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