Committee votes to give public works officials parking ticket-writing power during snow emergencies
By Jim Hagerty
The City of Rockford Code and Regulations Committee agreed on changes to the city’s snow emergency parking ordinance before a short meeting of the Rockford City Council Tuesday, Jan. 18.
Under the new code, drivers who violate winter parking rules would be subject to $50 parking tickets.
The change is slightly different from what aldermen had been discussing at recent meetings.
It was initially proposed to give more than 60 snowplow drivers authority to issue tickets to violators of odd/even parking rules during snow emergencies.
The new code would give plow operators authority, but only to dispatch public works supervisors, who would issue parking citations.
Public Works Director Tim Hanson told council members supervisors should have authority to write tickets and that the problem of snowstorm parking violations is a significant one.
According to the Public Works Department, parking violations are common and plowing efforts are hampered in approximately 500 areas in the city.
When plows cannot plow or cannot fit down crowded streets, crews must return after cars are removed, resulting in added expenses.
“We are really just going after those that are just blatantly ignoring our requests,” Ald. Nancy Johnson (D-8) said. “Parking tickets will be issued at the discretion of the supervisors, not the truck drivers, so people can be assured, we’re not going to be slowing down the plowing process by having drivers get out of their trucks to issue tickets.”
Aldermen are expected to vote on the ordinance change at the Monday, Jan. 24 council meeting. If the code passes, public works supervisors would have authority to issue tickets beginning Thursday, Feb. 3.
More information about odd/even snow emergency parking rules is at the City of Rockford Web site.
The Rockford City Council meets in open session every Monday at 6 p.m. Meetings are in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall, downtown.
The council and Code and Regulations Committee met Tuesday after observing Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, Jan. 17.
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