Days may be numbered for odd-even monthly winter parking rules

City officials are considering a return to alternate-side parking every other night as a way to make it easier for plow drivers to clear the streets after a storm.

It’s just one suggestion floated by city councilors and Public Works Director Michael K. Stankovich to improve storm cleanup in the wake of complaints of poor plowing performance following last week’s snowstorm.

Other options are expanding the number of streets where parking is banned during a snow emergency and doing a better job of educating property owners about regulations that require them to clear sidewalks in front of their homes and businesses, Stankovich said.

The Highway Department also clears about 50 miles of sidewalks in the city as a courtesy, Stankovich said, especially in the areas of schools and in inner-city neighborhoods. However, DPW workers who operate the sidewalk plows are employed plowing streets during the storm, meaning the sidewalk cleanups don’t take place until two to five days after the storm.

Keith Boucher, the chairman of Urban Kindness, a civic group in the city’s Mount Washington area, told councilors that children on Washington Street were forced to walk in the street for nearly a week after the storm because sidewalks weren’t cleared.

The DPW director deconstructed the Highway Department’s actions during and after the blizzard of March 14 during Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, after Councilor William J. Macek asked for a discussion of his department’s performance.

Stankovich said the intensity of the snowfall followed by freezing rain and plummeting temperatures at the end of the storm created once-in-a-decade conditions that stymied plow drivers and left the city’s roads in poor shape.

Complicating the problem was the failure of one of the city’s two graders, large pieces of equipment with hydraulic power to scrape ice off the streets. A 28-year-old grader broke down, leaving the Highway Department with only a 23-year-old grader to hit as many streets as possible.

Buying a new grader could cost as much as $500,000, Stankovich said.

Police Chief Alan A. DeNaro and Stankovich plan to meet with the council’s Public Safety Committee to talk about staffing, potential equipment purchases, and changes to winter parking rules.


8 thoughts on “Days may be numbered for odd-even monthly winter parking rules

  1. This is an easy issue to resolve.

    Pick a side for the winter, and that’s that. No switching sides. That way the side with no cars can be plowed (tow the ones that are there, creating more revenue for the city and teaching the scofflaws a lesson in civic responsibility) AND the side that has the cars will be cleared…because people will dig out their own cars.

    Problem solved.

  2. Sadly, the parking plan is and has been a disaster. Imagine getting another storm like this past one. How are the small trucks going to push back the snow left on that parking side of the road after it has frozen ? Impossible. Obviously nobody from the city ever drives around to see what they have created. But hey, who cares. Nobody did when people told them this would happen. It’s all to save a buck. Because changing it would require the plow trucks to go out another night to push back the snow on the other side of the road after people clean and move their cars, as it should be in any normal city or town.

  3. It never worked in the past and it wont work again. Just tow the dam cars that are parked on the wrong side. Its an emergency just take em all away no exceptions. Have tow companies ready like the plow drivers. After your car gets towed and you have to pay the bill you wont forget.

  4. It was not a convincing argument made by the DPW director. I ma sure he is a good guy but he is being controlled by the Mayor who calls all the shots. It’s snow and it’s New England where we get it every winter.

  5. Jack Haverhill. …I was mostly on your side because I can hold my nose and see both sides. It’s called being a moderate. But then you pointed the finger at someone for having contempt for others. Jack, that’s called hypocrisy -as you have vicious, unhealthy, fanatical contempt for anyone who disagrees with you.

    • You’re right mayor. I do have contempt. I have contempt for lazy, incompetent, corrupt public employees who never suffer any consequences for being a failure. Especially YOU mayor.

      But unlike you mayor, I keep my promises. That’s why I’m on this site daily pointing out to anyone interested in reading my comments how corrupt and incompetent you are. Which isn’t too difficult because literally everything you’re involved with is done wrong, not done at all and ends up costing taxpayers more than it should.

      Mayor, you still haven’t figured out the “Reply” tab I see.

  6. “The Highway Department also clears about 50 miles of sidewalks in the city as a courtesy, Stankovich said,”
    Spoken like a true public employee hack!!! Hey Stankie, that paycheck you get ever two weeks is just a courtesy too.

    This hack needs to be fired! EVERY other community in the Merrimack Valley had no problem dealing with the snow except Haverhill. Every time he has to speak at a public meeting he’s full of lame, unjustifiable excuses for his poor performance. More importantly, he’s got a rude attitude full of contempt for those who dare ask him about his failures. He’s got a “F You” attitude for those in authority. The city would be better served without this hack working for it.