With the City's first big snowstorm of the year possible, Mayor Beutler reminds residents that their cooperation is needed to remove vehicles from the streets to allow for snow removal efforts. Three types of parking bans may be issued:
To assist downtown residents during snow removal district parking bans, City Parking Services will offer free overnight parking at Center Park Garage, 1100 "N" St. The service is being offered in an effort to reduce citations and towed vehicles in the downtown area during parking bans. The service will be offered from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. when the City is under a snow removal district parking ban. Customers will be charged for any time beyond the nine hours at the posted garage rate. Vehicles that remain in the facility past 10 a.m will be charged for the entire time the vehicle was in the facility.
The City Parks and Recreation Department also clears lots and facilities throughout the community for residents to use during parking bans. A list follows this release. Residents also may contact the nearest library or church to find out if any additional temporary parking facilities are available during snow operations.
Vehicles parked illegally during parking bans are subject to fines, towing and storage costs at the owners' expense. Vehicles parked in a way that does not allow emergency vehicles to pass may be ticketed for obstructing a public street.
Information on snow operations is available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov and through local news media and government access cable channels 5 and 10. Residents can sign up on the City website to be notified of snow operations through RSS feeds. They also can sign up to be notified through Twitter at twitter.com/lincolnsnow. A Twitter account is not necessary to receive SMS alerts - text follow lincolnsnow to 40404 (standard text messaging rates apply).
The City began the winter with about $3.83 million available for snow operations. Since September 1, 2011, the City has spent about $1 million of the snow operations budget on a combination of preparation activities, materials and snow operations during several small storms.
Last winter, the City tested a "belly plow," which is attached under a snow removal truck. While the regular plow on the front end of the truck pushes the snow, the belly plow acts as a grader to remove packed snow. The cost to add belly plows to trucks is a fraction of the cost of a grader.
This winter, the City has replaced four older trucks with new trucks, and two of those are equipped with the standard front plows and with belly plows. The other two are equipped with front plows, belly plows and "wing plows." Wing plows allow equipment to plow two lanes of traffic with one pass.
The City reminds residents that it is illegal to push or blow snow into or on any street, alley or sidewalk. When clearing sidewalks, residents should also clear wheelchair ramps, curb cuts and access to fire hydrants.
To find out about parking bans and snow removal operations, the public can call the City Snow Center at 402-441-7644. The public should report street condition emergencies immediately by calling 402-441-7701. To report non-emergency situations and potholes, the public can call 402-441-7646.
The following lots are open for public parking during a residential parking ban: