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Dover’s winter parking ban begins Dec. 1

DOVER — As part of a campaign to keep the city’s streets clear, officials have been spreading the word about the annual winter parking ban, according to Parking Manager Bill Simons.For years, Simons said city officials have determined it is best to prohibit all overnight parking — from 1 to 6 a.m. — along all streets and sidewalks between Dec. 1 and April 1.

During this period, Simons said drivers can use any of the city-owned parking lots without a permit.

In parking lots behind the City Library, along Third Street and at School Street, Simons said it’s important to park in designated areas — such as near the railroad tracks at the Third Street parking lot — to prevent snowplows from burying vehicles.
Any vehicle left on the street is subject to a $15 fine. Vehicles impeding snow removal could be towed.

“This has been going on for decades — it’s a calendar-based parking ban,” Simons said, adding most residents and landlords are aware of the ban, which is enforced regardless of the weather.
“It’s not just for snow plowing; it’s for salting, sand and road improvements,” Simons said.

For the past two weeks, Simon said parking officials have been leaving informative notices on cars in the downtown to alert new residents — especially students from the University of New Hampshire — about the parking rules.
Simons said police usually issue “a lot of parking tickets” the first week or two before drivers become accustomed to the rules.

“The goal is to tow as few cars as possible during snowstorms,” Simons said, adding towing causes significant delays to snow removal crews and is troublesome for residents.
Additionally, the city can declare an emergency parking ban in the downtown to assist with snow removal. This measure will be announced by 3 p.m. and take effect at 1 a.m. the next day. During this time, any vehicle parked along downtown streets will be towed. Notification of the emergency parking ban will be conducted through local media, the City of Dover website, cable Channel 22 and Dover Download, according to a release.
A complete map of streets affected by an emergency ban is posted at

For more information on the winter parking ban or the emergency parking ban, contact the Parking Bureau at 516-2277.

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