Narrow streets exacerbated by growing snow banks prompted a city-wide winter parking ban in Salem, an official with the Salem Police Department said.
Beginning tonight at 6, drivers will be prohibited from parking on even-numbered sides of residential streets, said Salem police Captain Brian Gilligan. The ban, which applies only to streets without existing parking regulations, ends March 15.
"It's the residential streets where people live on both sides," Gilligan said. "For that reason, unfortunately, those streets end up being impassable for a fire engine or an ambulance."
According to Gilligan, "the older streets that are narrow to begin with," such as roads off Lafayette and Derby Streets, have seen the lion's share of blockages caused by parked cars.
Police will most likely tow and ticket anyone caught violating the ban, Gilligan said. However, he added, the ban may decrease towing as residents become aware of the ban and roads become more passable.
Although the police department slotted the end of the ban for March 15, it could end earlier if weather conditions in the city make it unnecessary, Gilligan said.
"If we come into a weather pattern where snow banks are eliminated, we'd probably lift the ban," Gilligan said.