City Considers Change to Snow Emergency Policy to Improve Downtown Parking

Marshfield, WI (OnFocus) To improve downtown parking after snowstorms, the Board of Public Works discussed changes to the City’s snow emergency policy.

When a snow emergency is declared, all vehicles are banned from parking on city streets to allow for proper snow removal after a heavy storm.

[Related: February Smashes Records for Snow Totals]

Due to hardships on downtown businesses, which have limited off-street parking available to customers, the Board of Public Works considered forming three classes of snow emergencies to allow an easement of parking restrictions after a snowstorm.

In a Class I snow emergency, no parking would be allowed on city streets between the hours of 2:30 and 6 a.m. While this parking restriction already went into effect starting November for the winter months, the difference is that a Class 1 snow emergency allows no special permissions to be granted from the police department.

[Related: Winter Parking Restrictions to Begin in November]

A Class II snow emergency restricts parking on city streets at all times until cancelled, but parking would be allowed in the BID district (downtown area) between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. Likewise, no special permissions for parking can be granted by the police department.

A Class III snow emergency is the most restrictive policy and does not allow any parking on city street until cancelled, with no exceptions.

Any vehicles found in violation of a snow emergency declaration will be ticketed and removed.

In discussion, board members suggested creating two instead of three classes of snow emergencies.

“I think when you have too many options, it can be confusing,” said Adam Fischer. “I think we have to have fewer options, and we also need to know how that’s communicated to the public.”

Street Superintendent Dean Schiller said snowplow drivers often encounter vehicles still parked on the roadway, which creates an issue when clearing snow.

“When you’re plowing off 12 inches of snow from the roadway, you go around a vehicle, what you also have is a snowdrift that’s now 24-36 inches. That car then has to somehow dig its way out,” he said. “But then we also have to come back at a later date when that vehicle is gone and clean the road up again. At that time the temperatures have changed and the snow itself has changed, where it’s more of a hard pack and hard to scrape off.”

The item will return for approval at a future meeting and would be implemented on a trial basis with a review in spring.

Snow Emergency Declared for City of Marshfield – Feb 12

February Smashes Records for Snow Totals

Winter Parking Restrictions to Begin in November