Drivers 'tow' the line

Choice of parking hinders snow removal

Although spring is in sight, snowy days may still be ahead, and the Craig Police Department's code enforcement officer is urging residents to help road crews by moving their vehicles.

On Wednesday, Becky Otis noted 14 vehicles that still had not been moved since last weekend's storms. She was able to contact eight of the owners, who moved their cars. Otis hung red tags on the remaining six vehicles, which will be towed if they are not moved by Monday.

When the plows hit the streets early in the mornings, the blades leave windrows around cars that are parked in the street. The windrows build up as more snow falls. If cars don't get moved, it can cause traffic problems.

When the snow is then left to freeze, it can turn into somewhat of a glacier around the automobile.

"You can't get it back to the curb," said Randy Call, head of the city's Road and Bridge Department. "It narrows the street down considerably."

Call said the numerous cars were left on the streets after the plows did their work Monday.

"We've probably seen more than the usual number of vehicles in the streets the last couple of storms," Call said.

It may be a case of locals being out of practice.

"We didn't hardly get any snow in January," Call said. "People forget."

Otis said she knows many people don't have off-street parking. And she doesn't expect residents to move their cars in the middle of the night when the plows take to the streets.

But residents are expected to move their cars forward, backward or to the other side of the street as soon as possible the day after a storm.

Vehicles left for 72 hours will be red-tagged. After another 72 hours, owners face tickets, towing and impound costs.

Before either action, "we do make a concerted effort to contact owners," Otis said.

She suspects that some residents may be out of town, however. She still hasn't been able to contact the owners of several cars that will be towed early next week.

Those owners may return from vacation to find their cars missing. Residents should consider leaving their keys with a neighbor or finding off-street parking if they plan to be out of town for extended periods during the winter, Otis said.

"Winter is almost over, so I hope people can just bear with us," Otis said.

Call said he anticipates only a few more plow days this season.

"The way winters have been lately, we'll plow three or four more times before the beginning of April," Call said.

Jeremy Browning can be reached at 824-7031 or jbrowning@craigdailypress.com

Commenting has been disabled for this item.