Residents Voice Opposition To City’s Winter Parking Policy

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.

The Port City is working to clear its snow-clogged streets and sidewalks. Its current parking policy has many residents upset, however.
The Port City is working to clear its snow-clogged streets and sidewalks. Its current parking policy has many residents upset, however.

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.


  1. The two day ‘ban’ on parking on our street so the snow blowing truck could get through worked pretty well. Up the street one block there was parking on one side, and residents of our block parked there for those two days. Only issue I could see was that after posting the signs the DPW wasn’t able to get to our street on time, and cars started reparking a bit illegally. However, it was a good move, and widened our street. I just wish we could afford a pedestrian shoveler to get the last of the snow that the snow blower wasn’t able to get to, because we still have substantial ‘slush’ that makes it hard for cars to get close to the snow ‘edge,’ and out of the way.

    Doesn’t anyone get that we have fewer DPW employees, and a massive (record breaking) snow storm to contend with. THIS is not our norm. And we have to flow with working it out the best we can. And, we aren’t BOSTON, or even other parts of the country. For those with driveways, congratulations on keeping cars off the road, but alas, we are a very old city as the mayor said. SNOW has always been an issue here. Let’s just hope we don’t have another winter like this anytime soon.


  2. If a car has an accident because they blew through a stop sign because it is covered with snow, can the city be sued. I have seen that in several areas lately and someone is going to get killed! There was no clearing of snow today and no more signs up – are they done?

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