Oswego Council OK’s Winter Parking Plan

OSWEGO, NY – The Oswego Common Council worked throughout the summer to come up with a winter parking policy that would be fair and make the majority of the residents happy. They aren’t quite there yet.

However, at Monday night’s council meeting, they approved a winter parking policy that’s the best step going forward into the coming winter, the councilors agreed.

The 7-0 vote followed a few speakers at the public hearing on the proposal as well as some more during the meeting’s regular public session.

Mary Kay Stone, a westside resident, said of the plan, “I don’t think you’re completely there yet.”

If cars are allowed to park on the streets, plows won’t be able to efficiently do their job, she pointed out.

Some form of alternate parking might be a better idea, she added.

The owner of a tavern, not in downtown, said the policy would hurt her business. She’s open until 2 a.m., but patrons would have to move their vehicles off the street at midnight, she said.

Another resident questioned the section of the policy that says only one space per household will be granted – no matter how many people at the address own vehicles.

“I have four people in my house that all have cars,” she told the council. “I don’t know where the other three are supposed to park. We cannot all fit into one space. It’s not realistic. You really need to have alternate parking, or another solution.”

The city does provide free parking locations: the Flexo Wire site, Wright’s Landing marina, and a lot near the former Price Chopper.

Opponents say that having to walk “five blocks” or more in the cold and dark (especially with groceries or young children in tow) isn’t feasible.

“This is a step forward,” said Councilor Nate Emmons, one of the facilitators of the proposal.

More can and should be done, before alternate street parking is reconsidered, he added.

“The first step is take a look and see how this goes,” he said.

A 24-hour alternate street parking plan should be considered in the future, Councilor Eric VanBuren said.

The policy adopted Monday will be in effect from December 1 of each year until March 31 of the following year. The mayor, at his or her discretion, can extend it based on weather conditions.

It calls for no parking on residential streets from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.; except for the downtown area of West First and West Second from West Oneida to West Cayuga, Water Street area and West Bridge Street from West First to West Fourth; East First from Oneida Street to the north dead end, East Second from Route 104 East to East Cayuga Street and Route 104 East from East First to East Fourth – ban is in effect 2 – 6 a.m.

The council, by further resolution, may change which streets shall be considered to be downtown.

Permits (exceptions) will be granted based on demonstrated need for parking on the street. The permit fee would be $75 for the winter season.

The permits would be exclusive for the purchaser’s property.

Permit holders will have a designated parking spot along the city block, on the street, in which their property is located. The spots will be determined by the DPW in concert with the councilor of the ward and the police department.

They (permit holders) waive any and all rights, and hold the city harmless for any damage.

The permit is only good for the one winter season in which it is issued.

The locations will be designated by signs to be installed by the DPW.

Residents without sufficient off-street parking as described in the plan, may apply for a permit to park the on the street on which they reside during the winter parking ban. A number of factors must exist, however, for these permits to be granted. Applications must be submitted between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1 of each year.

Applications can be denied for several reasons. And they can also be revoked.


  1. Here we go again. Make it hard on many people for the few that where dumb enough to buy a house with no parking. Come on council have enough courage to vote in the majority not because one or two people came to a council meeting and showed how dumb they were to by a house with no off stree parking. As far as having to walk five blocks with groceries, how about unloading them first or getting groceries before the parking ban goes into effect. Kinda dumb again. As far as holding the city accountable for any damage our city attorney should have known that while plowing and if the plows do any damage the state made a law a few years back that the cities can’t be sewed.

  2. If people are given parking permits to park on there streets they should also have to park in front of there own home. When we still had parking overnight my neighbors parked 3 houses down in front of my driveway and all the snow ended up there in front of my driveway and there driveway and street was clean. I ended up having to snow blow the street also so I could get over the big clump of snow left by the plow that had to go around the neighbors car. Oh did I mention, they had a driveway. They did not want to bother cleaning it., only a small walking path for walkers. Did I also mention that they know I am disabled. I say Joe has it right. Everyone needs to quit bitching and take responsibility for your own problems. Any family that can afford 4 cars can afford to widen there driveway or sell a car and do it. If some of my neighbors did not treat me so poorly I would share my driveway. A little kindness and respect goes a long way.

  3. Winter parking in a city like Oswego will always be a problem. In 1st and 3rd Ward, esp., Oswego homes were built extremely close together before the advent of the auto. Citizens would ‘hire’ a carriage from a stable down the street, or they walked. Mostly they walked.

    In this era of cars, we have issues walking any distances. Even younger folks. Back in the 1970s I rented from a landlord that had 5 apartments and ONE parking spot. I didn’t get it. The rest of us had to locate other accommodations. SOME of the churches/schools charged for parking and that worked for a while. Two of the five years I lived there.

    Then I located a free spot with someone whose parents did Florida winters. I had to walk 9 blocks to get to the car, and another 9 blocks to park the car again. But it was free, and they cleaned out the parking spot (!). I used the bus for a lot of my travels since that was a problem, all that walking.

    Twice or three times a month I did my grocery shopping, or laundry and walked to my car. I unloaded the ‘stuff’ while I COULD park on the street, and didn’t use my car unless I had to. Even as a younger person (and I was very young), it was COLD out there!

    Residents of NYC are use to doing exactly this. NY was built before the advent of the auto, for the most part, or there are just too many folks for the spaces there are. Other cities have alternative parking, but we know this doesn’t really work in those winters when we get dumped with a lot of snow. MANY cities charge for a parking spot on the city streets, esp. those in large urban area in CA!

    I don’t know what the answer is, just like a lot of politicians don’t have ALL the answers. But if you have three cars and not enough parking spots, maybe you can borrow a spot from someone who is gone for the winter. You’d be responsible for paying for their plowing (only fair), but what’s the difference than having to plow out your own driveway? Just saying. Don’t freak yet. There may be an answer that’s easier than we think!

  4. $75 for each of the winter months… So the city is going to charge people $300 to park on the street, that I park on for free rest of the year. I understand things are different in NYC, and were different, “back in the day” but this us Oswego New York in 2016. I think the Council needs to go back to the drawing board and try again!
    Was odd even parking really that bad?
    The other problem with this resolution is it is not enforceable because there is no such time as 12am. It’s 12noon or 12 midnight. There is 12:01am…

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