Shelton homeowner: Due to on-street parking, I shovel, shovel, shovel

A snow-covered vehicle on the side of the road in downtown Shelton.
A snow-covered vehicle on the side of the road in downtown Shelton.

When it snows in Shelton, Lore Lichtenberg has to shovel to the end of her driveway. And then she has to shovel the end of her driveway again. And, yes, then she has to shovel a few more times.

The problem isn’t that the snow keeps falling, but that city plows keep coming back to her road to remove snow as vehicles parked on the street are moved over time.

That means the plows keep pushing new snow in front of her driveway on Prospect Avenue, a road with many houses on smaller lots near City Hall.

“This is all street snow ... I’m not pushing the snow into the street [from my driveway],” Lichtenberg told the Board of Aldermen at its March 13 meeting.

“I think it’s unfair I have to shovel four times” after each storm, she said while addressing aldermen during the meeting’s public speaking portion.

Enforcing snow parking rules

Lichtenberg said the problem is due to the city not enforcing snow parking rules, which can place restrictions on where people are supposed to park on public roads.

If the parking ban was enforced as it should be, she said, then the plows could clear the roads “in the proper manner” the first time.

The way the system works now, she said, returning plows keep pushing “a wall of snow” in front of her driveway.

This occurs after she already has spent time thoroughly clearing her driveway of snow with a shovel, partly because she had an elderly parent living with her.

Lichtenberg also said she suspects most of the people parking on the road are not homeowners, but renters who live in the neighborhood.

Maintenance costs

Lichtenberg said because snowplows now must make multiple passes on roads such as hers, this likely increases the amount of maintenance that needs to be done on the trucks, leading to higher costs for taxpayers.

“If the town would just enact and enforce a parking ban during times of snow, everyone would be happy,” she said.

City does have winter parking rules

In fact, the city does have special parking rules that take effect during the winter months, but enforcement appears sketchy. That can become an issue in densely developed neighborhoods, such as those near downtown and in Pine Rock, when it snows heavily.

The rules take effect from December through March, and restrict vehicles to parking on one side of the street in the middle of the night. The mayor also can declare a snow emergency and ban all on-street parking. (See details on the rules below).

However, strict enforcement can cause problems for people who live in these densely-developed areas because they may not have access to off-street places to park their cars overnight.

The city’s winter parking rules

The following information is based on a previously received press release from the city of Shelton:

From December to March, from 12:01 a.m. to 6 a.m., alternate side of the street parking is required. On odd numbered days, parking shall be permitted on the odd-numbered side of the street; on even numbered days, parking shall be permitted on the even-numbered side of the street.

No parking shall be permitted on any street where the parking interferes with snow removal. When the mayor calls a snow emergency, no on-street parking shall be allowed if off-street parking is available. Cars may be towed and a fine shall be levied in addition to the cost of towing.

The purpose of this ordinance is to assure that the public roadways can be cleared to allow for safe passage of all emergency vehicles and the general public.

Also residents are reminded that property owners are responsible for the removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks abutting their property. No person shall cause snow from sidewalks or driveways to be put into the public street.