OSWEGO, NY – Nearly a dozen speakers voiced their opposition Monday to the Port City’s winter parking policy.
However, after almost two hours, the councilors took no action on the matter. For now, at least, Oswego’s alternate side parking remains in effect for the remainder of the winter.
Members of the public called the city’s current alternate side parking policy disgusting, ridiculous and told city officials to “get rid of it.” Some offered possible options to the policy.
“I don’t think anyone wants to make a legitimate move on what it is; I don’t think anyone wants to take the responsibility on what the outcome is. I’m willing to say that it’s a tough position because we’re not going to be able to really put an effective decision out there that is going to get to a lot of people in the short time that we have left,” Council President Eric VanBuren said following the marathon discussion.
There’s always the chance that March is going to be a lion, he added.
“I’d say that what we’re doing now in terms of temporary no parking is helping to get the streets cleaned up the best that we can,” he said. “We’ll continue with the current policy as we move along to a better solution.”
The possibility of parking by permits exists, he noted.
“Mirroring the temporary permit system we have for front yard parking, that we have normally done in previous years, it shouldn’t be too much of a struggle to move that to on-street parking,” he said. “This would give a list to the DPW so that they would know what streets that these cars were going to be on so they could have a heads up. It would allow us better enforcement. They would know that if they do not keep their parking areas clean and they are abiding by the regulations, they could lose their permit.”
The county has provided the city with some 10-wheelers to help remove the snow from city streets, VanBuren said.
“We’re working toward partnering with the county,” he added.
The city’s overall parking policy needs to be reviewed, he noted.
“There are some city streets that really should have parking only on one side,” he said. “There are some streets that should have alternate parking.”
The council has reached out to the DPW commissioner and police chief to talk to their staffs so the council can get a better idea of what they are up against and how the council can help them do their jobs, he added.
“We’re to see what streets they are having problems on, what streets they’d like to see no parking on and that sort of thing,” he explained. “I’m looking to get that feedback from those departments so we can make a better solution.”
Five hours (1 to 6 a.m.) is not enough time clear the snow, especially if there was a snowstorm. So if it’s expanded that to 8 hours or 12 hours, then we’d see some better clearing of the snow, he said.
The committee took no action Monday night.
However, councilors will continue to re-examine the city’s parking policy, with an eye specifically on winter issues.