FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Police and town officials are looking at ways to keep parked cars off Fairfield’s streets during major snowstorms in the future.
“We’ve gotten a lot of recent inquiries regarding the parking during inclement weather, specifically during snowstorms,” Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara said.
Currently, Fairfield has parking restrictions during snowstorms in only one part of town: on the Unquowa Road bridge over the railroad tracks. The Department of Public Works asked the Fairfield Police to clear cars from that area specifically because it was difficult to plow otherwise.
Fairfield Police will also put temporary alternate-side restrictions on streets in the Grasmere and Fairfield Beach areas Thursday and Friday, Deputy Chief Chris Lyddy said Wednesday.
No definitive plans for permanent changes have been announced, but the Fairfield Police Commission discussed options at its meeting Wednesday night. The town is looking to put snow emergency restrictions on streets that cause problems for plows, such as Unquowa Road. The Department of Public Works is working on a list of potential streets, MacNamara said.
Representative Town Meeting member Ruth Smey suggested instituting an alternate-side parking plan for the entire town. In Smey’s plan, residents would be allowed to park on one side of the street on the first day after a storm. They would then be asked to move their cars to the other side after plows had come through.
“It is a problem for the plows to get through, and I think it would be efficient for us to have some sort of plan,” said Smey.
Another possibility would be a full townwide parking ban during snow emergencies. But the town would have to consider areas where residents have smaller driveways and street parking is necessary for many families, MacNamara said.
“I do believe that there will be many different opinions on that, because there are some locations where off-street parking is not available,” he said. “We certainly want to be sensitive to those people that cannot park off-street to move their cars during a snowstorm.”
The Fairfield Police Commission will take up the discussion at its next monthly meeting in March. Any changes would be publicized in advance to get feedback from residents, MacNamara said.