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Snowfall a windfall in Somerville

Posted by Marjorie Nesin  February 10, 2011 10:00 AM

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The city issued 876 snow-related $100 parking tickets during the Jan. 31 storm, according to mayoral spokesman Michael Meehan. That’s compared with a range of 390 to 632 tickets in the four previous snow emergencies. However, only about 200 cars got towed.

The city coffers take $25 of the state-set $128 towing fee. Meehan theorized that possibly the late hour of the snow emergency — it was called at 10 p.m. — or simple snow-emergency parking fatigue caused the uptick.

After the storm, to avoid car owners being ticketed for parking too far into the street, he recommended that they ‘‘take a shovel, carve yourself out a space in that snowbank.’’

Along with moving cars, the city has been moving snow. As of Friday, public works crews had removed excess snow from particularly clogged intersections and streets in and near Davis, Teele, Union, Magoun, and Ball squares. With the usual holding lots at capacity, the trucks are unloading in a lot at Assembly Square volunteered by Federal Realty Investment Trust.

No matter how much it snows, ‘‘I don’t think we’re going to fill all of Assembly Square anytime soon,’’ Meehan said. Despite the seemingly endless run of storms, there have been only five school cancellations and the school calendar is in fine shape.

"Five snow days are approved in the union contract and by the School Committee,’’ school spokeswoman Gretchen Kinder said in an e-mail. Any further days off, however, will require collective bargaining with the union and an official change to the school year.

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