Calendar Parking


Calendar Parking

OK I admit it, I had never heard the term "Calendar Parking" until I read this article in the Clinton, IA, Herald. It describes the concept of alternate side parking that goes into effect during the winter months so snow plows can clear the streets.  You park on one side during even numbered days, and the other during odd.  That allows the plows (and street sweepers) to clear the road and also gives a better safety route for evacuations if needed.

I Googled the term and found 4000 entries.  They all certainly had the same theme.

I got to thinking about it and wondered if the giving up of half of one’s parking spaces for the winter was the only alternative. Of course I live in a place where an inch of rain closes schools and businesses and don’t know from snow at all so its difficult to hold a very strong position but I’ll try.

With the advent of modern communications, and some common sense, why can’t the rules be that alternate side goes in to effect with the accumulation of three inches of snow and keeps in effect until say 72 hours after the end of the snow fall. That way the streets would be clear for cleaning, but also be available for parking during most of the winter (when its not really snowing.

The way most of the regs are set up they go into effect on a certain day in say November 15 and end on March 15. Every day you move your car, and half the parking is unused. If you get an early snow fall or a late storm (in April), you are out of luck.

Just my two cents as I go out and move my car so the street sweeper can lumber up. It is Tuesday, isn’t it.


Picture of John Van Horn

John Van Horn

2 Responses

  1. John: Calendar based overnight parking restrictions are quite common in the upper Midwest. Their source is the problems encountered in clearing of city streets after a snowfall. With cars parked on both sides of the street it is extremely difficult for the snow plows to clean the streets from curb to curb. Using alternate side parking allows one side to be plowed to the curb on night one and the other side to be plowed to the curb on night two. In some larger older cities the restrictions are year round because of the difficulties encountered moving large equipment like fire trucks down older narrower streets when there are vehicles parked on both sides. Many cities are moving to a modified calendar type system as you suggest where both side parking is only restricted when there is a snowfall of 4 inches or more.

  2. John,
    In Minneapolis (where I used to live) they might come and make a quick path for access today then come back several days later to do a better job at cleaning up. They may even try to lower the plow blade to actually remove the built up snow pack (ice).
    There are also sections of town where the streets get so narrowed by snow (it is not removed, just plowed towards the curb) later in the year that 2 sided parking can actually close the road.
    Keep up the good work!

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