Mayor Chris Beutler has declared a residential parking ban effective at 8 a.m. Sunday, February 5. However, Public Works and Utilities crews will begin plowing in some residential and commercial areas this evening. Residents are urged to move their vehicles off the streets prior to the official parking ban to assist crews with snow removal efforts. Crews will start the residential snow removal in outer portions of the City, where fewer cars are parked on the street. They plan to start work in other residential areas Sunday morning. More than 100 crews have been in a full plowing operation since 4 a.m., working on emergency snow routes and arterials.
"Our first priority is to make sure our major streets are open for emergency traffic," Mayor Beutler said. "Because it has continued to snow today, crews have had to continue clearing these major routes. These streets are expected to be in good shape by this evening, allowing some residential work to begin. I want to thank the public for their patience and ask for their cooperation in getting vehicles off our residential streets for snow crews to do their job."
A residential parking ban applies to streets that are not emergency snow routes, arterials or bus routes or included in a snow removal district. Parking is first banned on the even-numbered (north and east) sides of the streets. Once the Mayor has terminated that ban, parking will be banned on the odd-numbered (south and west) sides of the streets, and parking is again permitted on the even sides.
A snow emergency will remain in effect until 6 p.m. this evening. Until then, parking is banned on both sides of emergency snow routes, arterial streets and City bus routes. Maps are available on the City website, lincoln.ne.gov, and in the Windstream phone book.
The City Parks and Recreation Department clears lots and facilities throughout the community for residents to use during parking bans. 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.
A snow removal district parking ban will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, February 6. In these areas, the snow is plowed into windrows, loaded into trucks and hauled out of the area between midnight and 8 a.m. In these districts, parking is banned on both sides of the street. The districts include streets in Downtown; University Place; Havelock; Bethany; College View; 11th and "G"; 17th and Washington; and 25th and Sumner. Maps can be found at lincoln.ne.gov.
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 will be offered from 10 p.m. Sunday to 7 a.m. Monday. 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 Monday will be charged for the entire time the vehicle was in the facility
Crews with Parks and Recreation also are working to clean fallen trees and limbs. To report trees or branches that are blocking streets, call the Police non-emergency number at 402-441-6000. To report branches on sidewalks or in the public right of way between the sidewalk and the curb, call Community Forestry at 402-441-7035 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
LES crews are working to restore power and remove branches from lines. To report a power outage, call LES at 888-365-2412. The Police Department also is responding to reports of downed power lines to check for hazards to the public.
Police report 41 crashes in the City since midnight. Travel is not advised, but if you do go out, be aware that the north faces of many traffic lights are covered with snow
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.
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 public also can call the City Snow Center at 402-441-7644.