The Menino administration is canceling 3,353 tickets issued during Wednesday's no-snow snowstorm -- and is also forgiving fees on vehicles towed by city vehicles for violations of the snow emergency parking ban.
City Hall is also negotiating with private tow contractors with the idea of reimbursing people who were forced to pay the higher fees and higher storage rates routinely charged by the private companies, officials said today.
A total of 229 vehicles were towed Wednesday, said Transportation Department spokeswoman Tracey Ganiatsos.
She said the city charges $90 towing fee and $15 a day storage fee. Private contractors charge at least $90 and a variety of other fees that can quickly escalate the cost to consumers, she said.
The city this afternoon has posted information on how to get reimbursements on its website.
Somerville is following Boston's lead and is waiving the tickets and part of the tow fees.
State Police ordered approximately 184 vehicles towed from state property at the request of the Department of Conservation and Recreation. Wendy Fox, DCR spokeswoman, said the DCR will waive the $25 fee for parking ticket, and is looking into the possibility of cutting the tow fees that are set under a State police contract.
In Cambridge, it was a split decision. Parking tickets must be paid, but towing costs will be waived, said Susan Clippinger, director of Cambridge's parking office.
"We feel that the way the storm progressed… we didn't need to have towed all those vehicles,'' Clippinger said in explaining the split decision. A total of 77 vehicles were towed by the three private tow companies working for the city.
But, she added, people were notified Tuesday evening that the weather-related parking ban would be in force on Wednesday. Anyone who failed to comply will be held responsible, she said.
For those who were only ticketed, Boston City Hall says forget about it.
"You don't have to do anything,'' said Ganiatsos. "They are actually being deleted from our system. We are taking care of it.''
The city declared a snow emergency at 8 a.m. on Wednesday and it remained in effect – despite the lackluster storm – until 6 p.m. Ganiatsos said police and the transportation department issued 3,353 tickets citywide during those hours. All will now be forgiven, she said.
Ganiatsos stressed the amnesty applies only to tickets where the violation is identified as "weather emergency.''
"If you were ticketed for parking in front of a hydrant, amnesty doesn't count,'' Ganiatsos said.
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