Oswego Councilor Barlow Denounces Alternate Parking, Demands Re-evaluation

A sign announcing the city's overnight parking ban in previous years

A sign announcing the city's overnight parking ban in previous years

OSWEGO – As winter continues with severe weather and endless amounts of snowfall, city Councilor Billy Barlow (R-Fifth Ward) urges the mayor and councilors to rethink the alternate parking policy and move to a more practical solution.

Public outcry continues to increase over the conditions of roadways and congestion of streets, the councilor said.

A sign announcing the city's overnight parking ban in previous years
A sign announcing the city’s overnight parking ban in previous years

“The alternate parking policy is an utter disaster, enough is enough,” said Barlow. “The conditions of our roadways are in no way a reflection of the DPW’s ability to plow, but a product of a poor parking policy. The streets are blocked, plowing is difficult and the rules are confusing to the residents.”

The alternate parking was an alternative to a full on parking ban as previously used.

The alternate parking policy insists that residents park on a single side of the street, rotating nightly coinciding with the odd/even house numbers.

Barlow suggests that the city consider returning to a winter parking ban that will clear the streets at night, allowing plow drivers to adequately plow the roads and motorists to travel the side streets without incident.

Traditionally, the city always had the winter parking ban until recently.

“Residents all over the city are fed up with this policy. I believe this alternate policy was installed to appease rental properties and landlords. Our owner occupying residents need to come first! I resisted this policy publicly before winter began and I will continue to voice my displeasure on behalf of residents across the city.  We need to repeal the alternate parking policy and consider alternative methods,” Barlow said.

Barlow concluded with insisting residents who oppose the alternate parking to contact their designated councilors.


  1. I wholeheartedly agree with councilor Barlow! The roads are HORRIBLE, parking is congesting the roads making travel on city streets dangerous. Plows come through our neighborhood at early hours and sit blowing the horns until vehicle owners come out and move the card to let the plows through.

  2. Maybe the councilors who were in favor of this parking ban take a ride some night with the DPW workers so they can see first hand of the mess these streets are in and the hazards they face trying to get around these cars. Some streets are so narrow that emergency crews would not be able to get down them if needed. This alternate parking ban is a dangerous joke!!!

  3. I totally agree with councilor Billy Barlow’s comments regarding the alternate parking. Our streets are very dangerous and very difficult to get around the city. We need to go back to no parking on city streets for the winter months. It worked before and the alternate parking is not working.

  4. I agree totally with Mr Barlow that no overnight parking should exist in Oswego
    We have a nightmare this year of the way our streets look and are being plowed.
    Joan Knopp’s article in yesterday’s paper said, it all. Let’s get back to getting all
    vehicle’s off the street after 1 a.m. so the D P W can do their jobs of clearing the streets properly. I also Hope Mr Barlow will address the way downtown looks
    and have all the big mounds of snow removed in front of business’s . Mr Gillen
    wants us to shop downtown so clean it up

  5. DPW can’t keep up because they cut 18 jobs last year. What are people supposed to do that do not have drive ways? The full ban causes problems as well for the public.

  6. I totally agree with Mr. Barlow – I wish I could call my alderman to voice my opinion but Pat never has his phone on. Another issue that needs to be addressed is the shoveling of snow in the road – my street was impassable this morning as two people on opposite side of the street plowed their snow in the road – making it impossible to drive down. Tried to call Pat but as usual his phone was off went right to voice mail (I have tried several times to call him) – should have left Mike in office!

  7. Mr. Barlow is right. Owners first, landlords second. Here’s a thought for the landlords, If you don’t have enough space for parking, stop turning one family homes into 3 apartments! There should be a law that states just that!

  8. Ok, so what is the alternative? My driveway is 2 car widths wide. The city won’t let us take down a tree that would allow for another parking space on my property, and we have 3 cars! What are we supposed to do? Heaven forbid we have a tire on the sidewalk or we get ticketed! I hate the fact that they have a hard time clearing our street, but where can we park? It’s not just rental properties that have this issue. We own our home.

  9. I disagree. I believe that alternate parking is needed for more than landlords and rental properties. I live in the city and understand that the DPW has their hands full with plowing, but I feel the problem is with the confusion as to WHEN alternate parking begins and ends. If the city would simplify the situation, I believe it could be a win/win for everyone. Something like the city of Auburn has would probably work best.
    It goes like this:
    6PM – your car has to be on either the odd or even day according to the calendar and the odd or even address number. This if from 6PM to 6 PM! Not changing at 9PM or midnight depending on when someone makes it out to their vehicle. (this us how the current parking rules read)
    So, say today 2/15/14 – it’s an odd day so as of 6pm this evening ALL cars should be parked on the odd house numbered side of the street and STAY on that side until 6PM on 2/16/14 when they should be switched to the even side.
    Public awareness through media – TV, Internet, newspapers, or even mass mailing should also be done along with a week to two long grace period BEFORE the snow flies.
    Too many homes in Oswego do not have driveways or areas large enough for more than one car. Let’s try to work with everyone, as all property owners pay taxes.

  10. I fully agree; the alternate street parking has created congested streets and plows cannot adequately clear the streets. It doesn’t help that alternate parking is not enforced and people are parking where ever they choose. I have had my driveway blocked twice this season by a neighbor who shows no regard to the rules, safety or common courtesy for the rest of us. We need the Full Parking Ban back and it needs to be enforced!

  11. The dpw has more issues than alternate parking.narrow streets is your complaint I understand totally trying to fit a 8 foot plow let alone a city plow down a side street but it is just as bad on bridge street when people aren’t smart enough to let passengers out and pull as far into the bank as possible. Dont blame landlords, owners are just as guilty start ticketing cars who are parked off the curb and who are impeading traffic font abolish something that works in evert other town because the dpw can’t handle change.

  12. Denouncing this is crazy. There are several houses in Oswego that don’t have driveways sufficient enough, or any at all to support parking for those properties. This isn’t only for rental properties but family homes that have more than one vehicle. What are people supposed do? That’s why this was put in place. The current set up works and is only in question because there have been multiple snow storms in a row. This isn’t common.

  13. I live in a split house apartment, we are not allowed to park in the driveway and are not porvided with any sorry of parking lot. If alternate side of the street parking is banned, where do you propose I park mine and my husbands car?

  14. For years there was the parking ban and these people must have found a place to park because their cars were off the road. It’s so irritating that I have a college house next to me and I can’t even get out if my driveway without going over the snow bank. These kids have a driveway that easily fits 4 cars but they all park in the road, congesting it when the road is already narrow to begin with! Go back to no parking on the streets!!!!

  15. Billy, this was a political move. Not necessary. Your demographic is out there . Many home do not have drives, most have kids with cars. I’ll bet there are more people needing to park in road. Poeple will complain about blocking the sidewalk next, just like they did before. People are people and will complain about anything. Have you checked the census to find out that your negativity toward the alternate parking is based on more or less homes that may need to park in the street? It is the DPW that makes it look like the roads haven’t been plowed! Saturday there was not one plow that plowed East Seneca during the day. First ow came at about 8pm. And, most don’t slow to go around cars, they do about 30mph and don’t get close enough…period! Can’t just complain though, we did get a lot of precip!!!

  16. Oswego has always had this problem when there is a snow storm. Anyone recall 1977? We walked ‘corridors’ on the sidewalks…it was horrible. And talk about NO PARKING.

    What has been ridiculous for decades as that private towing companies made money if someone forgot their car on a totally clear starry night during the more popular parking ban that only seems to work for homes with parking.
    This happened to us. It was the first night of the winter parking ban and we got towed after 1 AM. We didn’t even know where our car WENT (the Port Authority) the morning after (a Sunday). So we sacrificed our side yard, we don’t have much green anymore, and can railroad five cars with off-street parking when it snows. A blessing when we don’t have to jocky, so we LIKE the new parking plan.

    So a parking ban would be a burden when there is no snow. When there is a lot of snow, we ask our tenants to pull in behind us anyway. And yes, employers in the past have been less than generous when folks were late getting in during a white-out blizzard due to ‘parking issues.’

    Oswego is an old city. But everyone now has a car in ways not common for the last fifty or so years. Five bedroom homes on the north west side of town (Historic Westside) often have extreme difficulties locating off street parking. Always have. St. Mary’s/St.Paul’s (on the east side)use to provide spots, but their insurance got so high they would have had to charge a LOT, and then, of course, people didn’t move the cars right on time so the plowers could get the lot ready for church/school, creating other issues.

    How about free parking at the college with shuttle busses if you are in student housing??? Just a thought.

    All this comes down to unusual event. It hasn’t been USUAL in this era of global warming to have three or more storms in a row. And…we should stop complaining…we aren’t BOSTON! :0)

  17. First of all, we do own rental properties in the City of Oswego and pay a lot of taxes. We are very tired of any problems always being blamed on the landlords. What would the complaints be if there were no rental properties or a college to help with the expenses? Not every landlord is a slumlord and not all tenants are bad tenants.

    I am in favor of the alternate side street parking ban. There are many homes with more vehicles and many older homes with small driveways. This is 2015 not 1970. Students need a vehicle to get to their student teaching assignments outside of Oswego. Most homes today have at least two people employed with each needing a vehicle to drive to work.

    The problem with the alternate parking ban is that it is in effect for 5hrs instead of 24 hrs. By 7am, many hospital and school employees or students are parking on both sides of the street and do not move their car until 4pm. If the ban was for 24hrs then the plows would have more room to get down the streets and would be able to completely plow one side of the street each day. There are many cities that have used this method for years without any major problems.

    The off street parking causes problems on mild days with lawns getting torn up and vehicles getting stuck in the mud. Residents complain about the mud and concrete pads. The other problem is where do you expect all of these extra vehicles to park? When I called the city a few years ago to see where my tenants could park, I was given a total of 3 spaces in various church parking lots on a first come basis. If the city wants people parking off street, they need to have an empty lot somewhere that these cars can park in.

  18. The way I see it if it is snowing like it has been most normal people in Oswego know they should not park on the road. For every winter in Oswego they had no parking on the road and that seem to work just fine. Who’s idea with this parking plan. They should go back to the old days with no parking on all city roads over night. Then the city could clean up the streets the way they should be cleaned

  19. Bad,Bad,Bad, comment saying homeowners come before tenants !!! Wow Billy you may have just put a dagger in your political career . Last I knew we are all created equal ( well according to the Constitution of the US )
    I agree with your stand that the alternate side parking isn’t working ,,,,But there are better ways to get your message across . Not that I know the answer,,as I truly don’t ,,,, Hoping there can be amicable solution to life long situation ,here in Oswego and all over the northeast ,towns & cities .

  20. I agree with Mr. Barlow. I know it makes alternate parking, it makes it hard for people to snow blow out diveways and help other citizen. It’s very dangerous for citizen to snow blow out people because they have to get out in to the road to clean out and if they don’t hear or see a car coming down the street well guess what will happen. Yes getting hit by a car. I mention this before when they first come up with alternating parking, but knowbody i feel cared.
    Thank Mr. Barlow for bring this to Councilor’s and to the public’s attention.

  21. There would be plenty of parking if they started tearing down some of the ratholes some of these slumlords are renting out. Mini parking lots could be created on almost every block. Just let city government take the land by eminate domain, and solve the parking problem along with urban blight. It would be like killing two birds with one stone.

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