LANSING | The village has restrictions on street parking when there is heavy snowfall that, by its own admission, it is not enforcing.
Vivian Payne, an administrative assistant to Village President Norm Abbott, said the restrictions have been found to be impractical in certain parts of Lansing.
She said last week the Village Board is contemplating turning the village into separate districts, with each district having differing parking restrictions.
Village Attorney Timothy Lapp said officials will continue to maintain the status quo for the rest of this winter, and said village officials hope to revise the policy over the summer.
“We want to have a new ordinance in place by next winter." Lapp said. "This will be fodder for discussion.”
As things stand now, parking is restricted on village streets when there is two or more inches of snow on the ground. On even-numbered days, people are supposed to park only on the even-numbered side of the street. The reverse is true on odd-numbered days.
But it is not followed by local residents.
“We’ve never enforced that,” Payne said of the current ordinance. Theoretically, cars can be towed, although Payne said village officials would prefer not to have to do that.
“It’s unwieldy,” Lapp said of current ordinances. “It needs to be changed.”
Payne said the situation is complicated by people who park on the street, but don’t park right up against the curb because the snowfall takes up space.
The end result is often there are vehicles parked on both sides of a street. Because they’re not against the curb, there are times when there is not enough space for other vehicles to pass.
There also are times when village Public Works crews trying to clear streets of excess snow have had difficulty because of the lack of space.
“This is definitely a safety issue,” Payne said. “Suppose an ambulance had to pass through?”
One solution to the problem would be to encourage more people to park their cars in driveways, although Payne conceded that many older homes in the village do not have driveways.