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Definitely broken: City's winter parking ban

December 03. 2013 10:01AM

"I think it's very confusing to a lot of people out there," Manchester Ward 2 Alderman Ron Ludwig said in a terrific understatement. Ludwig was trying to convince aldermen to try a new winter parking ban. He was voted down.

Manchester's winter parking ban is unquestionably confusing, as the tickets attest. Of the 2,803 parking tickets issued in Manchester in the last fiscal year, 2,142 were for violating the winter parking ban. That's 76 percent. "I'm not sure how this isn't broken," Ward 3 Alderman Pat Long said in response to At-large Alderman Dan O'Neil's insistence that the current arrangement is not broken.

From Dec. 1 through April 15, Manchester orders people to park on the odd side of the street on odd nights and the even side on even nights. The ban is from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. But when
you are parking your car in the evening, you have to remember to park on the side of the street that corresponds to the next day's date. Clearly many people find this confusing.

Ludwig proposed switching to even/odd years instead of days. But that would leave one side of the street inaccessible to plows all winter long, which seems to be what doomed the plan (if it was not actually the aldermen's desire to maximize parking ticket revenue).

Another solution would be to switch to odd/even months. People would park on the even side of the street in even-numbered months (December, February, April), and on the odd side in odd-numbered months (January, March). That would seem to solve both problems. Maybe aldermen can take this up next month.

Public Safety Travel and commuting Editorial Manchester

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