Lewiston says parking bans the key to getting roads ready after storm

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LEWISTON — Plow crews had only one problem clearing the snow from the city’s side streets Friday morning, and it came after the storm ended.

“People looked out, saw that the snow had stopped and moved their cars back into the street,” David Jones, director of public works, said. “But we weren’t finished. We still have roads to plow, even after the snow stops falling.”

Central Maine is bracing for another day of heavy snowfall Saturday night. Jones said the city has planned another parking ban beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday through noon Sunday.

“We are expecting another five inches,” Jones said. “We are hoping to even be able clear up some of those areas we were not able to get to from this storm because of the timing of the storm.”

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The city adopted the new downtown storm parking rules last winter, replacing the old policy that banned all parking from November to May.

According to the new policy, most residents can continue to park on the street throughout the winter as long as there is no storm expected. Parking is still banned for the entire winter on several narrow downtown streets that are marked with no-parking signs.

“We haven’t seen any big problems with it so far,” Jones said. “It seems to be working.”

Once a parking ban has been called, residents need to get their cars off of the streets to make room for the city’s snowplows. They can be ticketed and towed if they don’t.

Lewiston called a parking ban Thursday night through noon Friday. Jones said his crews needed every minute to get the streets clear.

“The problem this morning is the snow ended mostly before daybreak,” he said. “People get out and start clearing their driveways, so they move their cars out on to the roadway and that blocks the plows. We understand what’s going on and know they need to clear out their driveways.”

It meant crews had to leave some streets unfinished.

“There are areas where we couldn’t push the snow back because there were vehicles in the way,” Jones said.”But maybe with the parking ban (on Saturday) we’ll hopefully be able to clear up those areas. Maybe that will help.”

staylor@sunjournal.com

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