City Issues 498 Tickets, 91 Tows During Parking Ban
By JENNA CARLESSO
January 24, 2012
HARTFORD —— Signaling that the city is serious about parking ban violations, police issued 498 tickets and authorized the towing of 91 cars during last weekend's snowstorm.
Officials warned about the parking ban, which ran from 9 a.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. Sunday, in advance of a storm dumped 2 inches of snow in Hartford. Infractions carried fines of $99 and the towing charge is $97.84, plus storage fees.
The ban were prohibited parking on any city street. Those who normally park on the street were asked to park in public school lots.
Mayor Pedro Segarra vowed last winter, when the state suffered several brutal snowstorms and the city was criticized for its response — to get tougher about enforcing the bans. Snow-clogged city streets caused backups that stretched onto the interstates during the morning and afternoon commutes.
"I was impressed by the number of people who chose to ignore the parking bans," Segarra said last January, after city officials handed out 641 tickets and towed 140 vehicles during a more than 24-hour parking ban. "We need more cooperation, or that lack of cooperation is going to be met with more ticketing and tows."
Hartford police Lt. Chris Mefferd, commander of the traffic division, said Tuesday the enforcement effort Saturday and Sunday was a continuation of that policy.
"That's the No. 1 complaint we receive following any snowstorm — the clogged roadways," he said, adding that streets must be clear of vehicles to be plowed. "What we're looking for is to create overall compliance. There is a significant portion of the community that still doesn't take the necessary steps to comply with the parking ban."
Mefferd said the number of tickets and tows last weekend wasn't drastically different from previous bans. During a parking ban that ran from Jan. 26 to 27 last year, the city issued 407 tickets and towed 149 vehicles.
Mefferd said the city gives residents time to move their cars.
"We're not out there when the ban starts at 9 a.m. or 5 minutes after, attacking these people," he said. "We give people time to get up, get their cars cleaned off and get them to the schools before we start our enforcement efforts."
He said city officials did not begin towing cars until 6 p.m. on Saturday
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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