Snow parking rules net Summit Hill confusion
Ron Gower/TIMES NEWS A sign on a post along West Amidon Street in Summit Hill spells out snow plowing rules. According to dialogue at last night's meeting of Summit Hill Borough Council, the signs might not be accurate with the borough's ordinance.
Summit Hill police had ticketed some vehicles not moved for snow plowing in the borough following recent snow and ice storms.
But a Summit Hill councilman said he's not sure the police did the right thing.
John O'Gurek, vice chairman of the council, said tickets aren't to be given until at least 24 hours after the snow has stopped falling. He said this is how the ordinance is written.
Chief of Police Joe Fittos said it has always been that tickets would be given if the snow stopped falling by 8 a.m. and vehicles weren't moved that day.
"We need a meeting to straighten things out," said O'Gurek regarding snow parking regulations.
Adding even more confusion are the signs posted on utility poles.
The signs state:
"No parking on the odd-numbered (south or east) side of this street between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. upon the accumulation of three inches of snow and until cleared.
"No parking on the even-numbered (north or west)...on the day following the clearing on the opposite side of this street."
Council members said that during the first storm a part-time police officer put tickets on cars along Ludlow Street.
Fittos said the rule has always been that if it stops snowing by 8 a.m., the vehicles should be moved from the south or east sides of posted streets.
Council said the ordinance says cars don't have to be removed until the following day; "it doesn't matter what time it stops snowing."
O'Gurek also said that borough workers are instructed to plow curb-to-curb so long as all vehicles are removed from the street. If a single vehicle remains, the respective block won't get curb-to-curb plowing.
"If the people move their vehicles, we'll plow it," he said.
O'Gurek, who is chairman of the streets committee, said sometimes both sides of the street are plowed to the curb so long as vehicles are moved.
Fittos said the confusion of the rules "makes it hard for us to enforce, and hard for the citizens to know what's going on."
Council President Joe Weber commented, "To speak for residents on the shady side of the street, if we don't plow on the day of the storm, we will never get (the snow) cleared," explaining that when it turns bitter cold after a storm freezing occurs. "We will be breaking plow blades as well."
He said with concern, "If we get the two-foot storm, we will have one-lane streets in Summit Hill."
Several council members agreed that the ordinance must be examined.
On a related matter, letters were received from two residents who had vehicles towed during snow removal by the borough.
Fittos said the borough workers posted the respective streets for snow removal the day before. In addition, Fittos said he drove through the streets with a loudspeaker and siren to alert residents of the snow removal.
One letter writer said they only use their rear door and didn't see the snow removal posting.
Weber said he will discuss the matter with the borough's solicitor to determine if a response should be made to the letters.