With the City's first big snowstorm of the year possible, Mayor Beutler reminds residents that their cooperation is needed to remove vehicles from the streets to allow for snow removal efforts. Earlier today, the Mayor declared a snow emergency parking ban, effective at 8 p.m. tonight, and a residential parking ban, effective at 8 a.m. Thursday morning for the even numbered (north and east) sides of the streets.
In a snow emergency, parking is banned on both sides of emergency snow routes, arterial streets and City bus routes. Maps are available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: snow), and in the blue pages of the phone book).
A residential parking ban applies to streets that are not emergency snow routes, arterials or bus routes or included in a snow removal district (below). During a residential parking ban, parking is first banned on the even-numbered sides of the streets. Once the Mayor has terminated that ban, parking will be banned on the odd-numbered (south and west) sides of the streets, and parking is again permitted on the even sides.
Two years ago, the City created eight snow removal districts. In these areas, the snow is plowed into windrows, loaded into trucks and hauled out of the area between midnight and 8 a.m. To assist with snow removal, the Mayor may prohibit parking on both sides of the street in the districts, which include streets in Downtown; University Place; Havelock; Bethany; College View; 11th and "G"; 17th and Washington; and 25th and Sumner. Maps can be found at lincoln.ne.gov (keyword: snow).
To assist downtown residents during snow removal district parking bans, City Parking Services will offer free overnight parking at Center Park Garage, 1100 "N" St. The service is being offered in an effort to reduce citations and towed vehicles in the downtown area during parking bans. The service will be offered from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. when the City is under a snow removal district parking ban. Customers will be charged for any time beyond 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. at the posted garage rate. Vehicles that remain in the facility past 10 a.m. will be charged for the entire time the vehicle was in the facility.
The City Parks and Recreation Department also clears lots and facilities throughout the community for residents to use during parking bans. A list follows this release. Residents also may contact the nearest library or church to find out if any additional temporary parking facilities are available during snow operations.
Vehicles parked illegally during parking bans are subject to fines, towing and storage costs at the owners' expense. Vehicles parked in a way that does not allow emergency vehicles to pass may be ticketed for obstructing a public street.
Information on snow operations is available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov, through local news media and government access cable channels 5 and 10. Residents can sign up on the City website to be notified of snow operations through RSS feeds. They also can sign up to be notified through Twitter at twitter.com/lincolnsnow. A Twitter account is not necessary to receive SMS alerts - text follow lincolnsnow to 40404 (standard text messaging rates apply).
The 2012-13 City snow removal budget is $3.5 million ($3,546,176), a 2.9 percent increase over the prior year. If needed, about $500,000 is available in carryover balances in the snow removal fund from the prior year, making the total available about $4.05 million
The City reminds residents that it is illegal to push or blow snow into or on any street, alley or sidewalk. When clearing sidewalks, residents should also clear wheelchair ramps, curb cuts and access to fire hydrants.
Volunteers are needed to shovel snow for those who are unable to clear their sidewalks and driveways. Individuals or organization wishing to volunteer for the Snow Angels program may sign up online at lincoln.ne.gov. Those who need the help can find volunteers near their home online or by calling the Snow Center 402-441-7644 during regular business hours. Aging Partners also has a program to provide snow removal for low-income elders. Funds from the Lincoln Cares donation program are used to pay the workers through the Aging Partners Home Handyman Program. For more information, visit aging.lincoln.ne.gov (click on "housing") or call 402-441-7030.
For more information on parking bans and snow removal operations, the public can call the Snow Center at 402-441-7644. The public should report street condition emergencies immediately by calling 402-441-7701. To report non-emergency situations and potholes, the public can call 402-441-7646.
The following lots are open for public parking during a residential parking ban: