City begins winter parking enforcement

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— Although most people have been waiting to see white and fluffy signs of winter on their cars every morning, some were confronted with a very different sign in the form of a bright pink piece of paper Friday after the city began enforcing no-parking bans for the winter.

Night-time parking restrictions in Old Town and on the mountain have been in effect since Nov. 1, but because the roads have been snow-less, the city has given drivers a break, said Doug Marsh, the city's street fleet superintendent.

The tickets are just warnings right now, but will escalate to fines soon, especially when snow begins to fall, Marsh said.

Snowplows cannot properly plow streets when cars are parked there, meaning the city often has to tow cars if they are in the way.

The city hired an officer to issue the tickets for a few hours before he gets into a sand truck to drive a route. All parking spots that are off-limits at night are signed, Marsh said.

The parking tickets, issued when there is no snow to plow and thus no towing needed to clear the streets, will cost violators $25, said JD Hays, the director of public safety services.

Even if there is no snow forecasted, people should be sure to get their cars out of the way, Marsh said.

"When people go to sleep at 10 p.m., they can't predict it won't snow at 2 a.m.," Marsh said.

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