Rockford residents say snow emergencies, parking ordinances cause confusion

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Snow emergencies are meant to help keep cities keep the streets clear and residents safe during winter weather, but the declarations often lead to a lot of confusion.

Odd-even parking is the rule most people know, but when it actually goes into effect is where miscommunication comes into play.

Jessica Gil, who lives in Rockford, said, “There’s just a lot of confusion around this whole subject.”

Gil says she’s lived in Rockford for almost 20 years, but admits she doesn’t always know when the City has issued a snow emergency.

“It’s kind of just a grey area,” she said.

During last weekend’s snow emergency, the City issued about 400 tickets to people who violated the odd-even parking ordinance.

“The intent of that odd-even ordinance is to get the cars on one side of the street, so we can make one clear pass [with the plows],” said Public Works Director Kyle Saunders.

Saunders says signing up for text or email notifications, following the City on social media, or calling the Snow and Ice Hotline are some of the best ways to stay informed.

“If they want to call 779-348-7260, if you don’t have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or access to the Internet. If you do have a landline, you can call that number and our staff will be more than happy to help them navigate what they’re supposed to do,” he said.

The City says it has had over 2,500 downloads of it’s Snow and Ice app since it was released on January 8th.

“I certainly understand the frustration,” Saunders said. “We’re certainly not out there, trying to make people’s lives more difficult. We want to clear the roads. We want to make them safe.”

Saunders suggests, if you’re not sure if a snow emergency is in effect, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

“If you see snow falling, and you know what day it is, and you know what side of the street you’re parking on, I would just assume and take the necessary precautions and move your vehicle,” he said. “I know it may be an inconvenience, but we don’t want to issue tickets. That’s just something we have to do to support our snow and ice [removal] operations.”

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