SOMERVILLE – As snow season approaches, the City of Somerville reminds all residents that for the winter season 2018-2019, the side of the street where snow emergency parking is allowed is the even side. The City’s snow removal policy for public streets requires that residents park only on one designated side of the street during snow emergencies (unless otherwise posted). One-sided parking is needed to allow plows to push snow to the other side of the street to ensure safe passage for emergency vehicles and others. Any exceptions for designated streets will be posted with official roadside signage. For example, roads that have parking only on the odd-numbered side of the street year-round will also park on the odd side during snow emergencies.
School Lots No Longer Available During Snow Emergencies
The City also announced that, for the first time, parking will not be allowed in school parking lots during snow emergencies. Four hours after a snow emergency is called, gates to school parking lots will be closed and locked until the emergency is lifted. The goal of this change is reduce the number of snow day school cancellations by allowing the Department of Public Works adequate time to clear the parking lots overnight and in the early morning hours following a snow event so that they will be available for school teachers, staff, and student drop-off. Keeping schools open when conditions allow provides students with equitable access to the best learning environment and the many services that our schools provide.
Additional off-street parking will still be available in other municipal parking lots such as the metered lots in business districts. As always, we also encourage residents with access to driveways to please use them during snow emergencies or, if not needed, make them available to neighbors to help alleviate demand for on-street parking. A map of available municipal lots for snow emergency parking can be found at www.somervillema.gov/snow, along with general snow emergency policy information.
The City welcomes feedback on all policy changes including parking changes and all constituent feedback on this change will be given careful review. We do, however, hope that residents will unite in working with us to prioritize school openings by accommodating this important change.
Sign Up for City Alerts
As a reminder, the City of Somerville offers a free alert system, available for phone calls, emails, and text messages, to keep you in the loop in advance of snow emergencies as well as other important city information. If you are not already registered, you can sign up by visiting www.somervillema.gov/alerts, or by calling 311 (617-666-3311 from outside the city). Note: Database glitches resulting in your not receiving messages pertaining to parking restrictions, including snow emergencies, do not automatically qualify you for dismissal or reimbursement of tickets and/or tow fees. Please review signage on your street, pay close attention to temporary signage, and review our parking policies and snow emergency policies.
Please Pay Attention to Information Sources When Snow is Approaching
In addition to direct City alerts, the city announces snow emergencies in a number of ways, including but not limited to announcements to local and regional TV, radio, print, online, and social media news sources; alerts on the City’s website www.somervillema.gov; alerts via the 311 Somerville App; postings on the City’s social media feeds including www.fb.com/somervillecity and @somervillecity; alerts on City Cable TV (Comcast Ch. 22, RCN Ch. 13 & Ch. 613); and flashing blue lights at major intersections.
Prior to and during the winter season, reminders in the City newsletter (sign up at www.somervillema.gov/eNews), on the City website, on banners and signage across town, electronic message boards, and flyers on cars are used to remind residents of snow emergency parking policies.
Snow Emergency Parking Information
· Once a snow emergency has been declared, residents have four hours to move vehicles to the correct side of the street, or into a designated municipal parking lot.
· Vehicles not moved during this window of time may be ticketed ($100 fine) and towed ($100 fine assessed by the tow company).
· Vehicles parked within 20 feet of any intersection may be ticketed and towed.
· For a list of designated municipal parking lots available for snow emergency parking, visit www.somervillema.gov/snow.
· Residents are encouraged to sign up for phone, email, and text alerts by visiting www.somervillema.gov/alerts.