OSWEGO, NY – Those planning on parking along West Mohawk Street in the future may soon have to keep one eye on the clock.
At its meeting Monday night, the Administrative Services Committee moved ahead with plans to implement a two-hour parking restriction on a huge chunk of the street.
Third Ward Councilor Mike Todd said he has been getting complaints from residents along the street regarding the situation.
“They’re having trouble getting in and out of their driveways and when the winter comes, there’s no way for (the DPW) to plow the street because both sides of the street are being utilized,” he said.
A lot of the problem, he said, is hospital employees utilizing the street for parking. He said he has contacted the hospital about this and was told they’d get back to him; but they never do, he added.
Committee chair Ron Kaplewicz said he’d facilitate a meeting between city and Oswego Health officials soon to discuss the situation.
The committee voted to send a resolution to the full council calling for a two-hour parking limit before the snow flies. In the meantime, it was suggested placing temporary no parking signs along the congested area, West Ninth Street down to West Second Street.
“The residents really want something done about this,” Todd said. “It is affecting the side streets, too. And, basically, the residents want it stopped.
Are there other streets impacted as well, Kaplewicz asked.
“We have problems on Eighth Street, we have problems on part of Seventh, part of Fifth Street, Fourth Street and part of Oneida Street,” Todd said. “Sugar and Scanlon have a terrible time getting people in and out of their funeral home when there is a funeral because there’s no parking.”
“Do you think this will become a problem on other streets if we put signs up on Mohawk?” Councilor Mike Myers asked.
“I think they’re going to go wherever they can to find parking,” Todd replied. “The real problem street we have right now is Mohawk Street in the winter time because they literally cannot get a plow down there because it is two side of the street parking. In the wintertime, whole sections of that street don’t even get plowed for long periods of time.”
The city is considering placing the restriction during the hours of 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. because “after that it isn’t as much of a problem.”
According to Todd, the city is losing money because Oswego Health keeps tearing down houses to create parking lots, and going tax exempt; and they’re still taking up all the streets for parking.
Councilor Myers suggested the city draft a letter to Oswego Health alerting them of the parking time change.
Todd said they should already be aware as he has talked to them weeks ago.
The council can waive the rules next Monday night to continue discussion about the two-hour parking plan, Kaplewicz said.
“In the meantime, get together and brainstorm a little bit about what we need to do in the neighborhood for parking … something that will protect the neighborhood and still accommodate some of the needs of the hospital,” he said. “We have a week here to try and put together a plan.”
In a prepared statement Oswego Health said:
“Oswego Hospital wants to be a good neighbor and has been working with city officials to improve the availability of employee parking near the healthcare facility.
“Earlier this year, the hospital demolished five buildings in order to build two new employee parking lots that added approximately 45 spaces.
“Oswego Hospital has future plans to add another 50 employee parking spots.
“Hospital administrators have met with Oswego City Mayor Tom Gillen and will continue to collaborate with him and members of the Common Council to resolve this parking issue.”