Winooski is considering a new approach to snowplowing and street parking.
Winter might not sting as much in Winooski this year.
The city council is poised to lift its blanket December-to-March, overnight ban on curbside parking and adopt a storm-by-storm approach, similar to Burlington's.
“The goal is to only use a winter parking ban when it’s really necessary,” says Winooski Mayor Seth Leonard.
The council will vote on the proposed rules December 7. They call for parking bans to be implemented as needed from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m. in most of the city. During bans, overnight parking will be allowed in the city garage on Cascade Way for $2 from 5 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Under current rules residents must move cars off the street by midnight from December 1 to March 15 to allow for snowplowing, even if there's no snow. That's overkill, according to residents, who have complained to the mayor and other city officials about the program.
"I think it was frustrating when it didn’t snow," Leonard said. "It’s easy to understand when you see a plow going back and forth. It's more difficult to understand when it’s not snowing."
The council has already given a tentative thumbs up to the changes. While the proposed rules would be less onerous, they might have a downside. Residents need to pay attention to ban notifications, or they could end up watching their cars being ticketed and towed away.
Parking bans will be announced by text or email and a recording at city hall. Winooski's streets also might be fitted with flashing lights—like the ones that blink during blizzards in Burlington.
There's one big exception to the proposed rules: The winter-long overnight parking ban would stay in place in the downtown core, running from 2:30 a.m. until 6 a.m., Dec. 1 to March 15.
The tight spaces and high volume of traffic downtown make a blanket overnight winter parking ban necessary in this part of the city to ensure roads are cleared, according to some city officials.