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.