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Danvers Board of Selectmen consider changing all night parking ban

Posted by Justin Rice  January 20, 2012 08:43 AM

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With the weekend's snowstorm still looming, the Danvers Board of Selectmen began considering the possibility of revising the town’s annual "All night parking ban."

Each Dec. 1 through April 1 any vehicles parked on a public way, for more than one hour, between the hours of 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. is subject to receiving a parking violation, which carries a $15 fine and possible towing.

Many Danvers residents are getting fed up with that policy, arguing that the technology exists to warn residents to move vehicles off public streets before a snow emergency.

Maple Street resident Carla King brought the issue before the Board of Selectmen earlier this week and said that moving her household's five cars from the street to her driveway every night is a difficult task.

“Everyone is going through the same thing, everyone is always juggling cars,” she said during a phone interview. “It seems silly to me that for those four months, even if there’s only 12 snow storms, that’s only 12 nights [that the cars really needed to be moved.]

“I definitely think there needs to be stepper consequences when people are parked on the street when there is a snow storm.”

King suggested using the reverse 911 system, email, text messaging or installing blue flashing likes to indicate a snow emergency the same way Beverly and other towns do.

While the selectmen had some reservations about relying on technology to get the word out, especially since not everyone sings up for the reverse 911 calls, they were open to the idea of trying to change the town bylaw. The board asked Town Manager Wayne Marquis to investigate what other towns do and report back about the cost of changing the policy.

“I support the idea of changing the regulations,” Selectmen Gardner Trask said during Tuesday night’s meeting. “I understand why they established the policy to keep the cars off the street … at the time they didn’t have the technology or communication we have.

“There are two sides to every story. The situation does cost the town extra towing if there are cars on the road. … Also there’s a concerns about relying on certain technologies such as reverse calling, as a home owner might have signed up [for the service] but maybe their tenants didn’t sign up.”

Board of Selectmen President Dan Bennett also reminded the board that this winter has been a mild one so far.

“We all forget very quickly last year when it was snow storm after snow storm,” he said.

Justin A. Rice can be reached at jrice.globe@gmail.com.

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