SIOUX CITY | With 3 to 4 inches of snow expected by Friday morning, Sioux City is for the second time this week asking residents to avoid parking on emergency snow routes.
The city is requesting motorists on Friday to refrain from on-street parking in the areas marked with snowflake signs, many of them located downtown, until snow is cleared, as is city policy when more than 2 inches of snow accumulate.
The request comes days after the city tried a new way of pushing snow on its streets to discourage such parking, to little avail. After Monday's 3.2-inch snowfall, rather than forming windrows in the center lanes of the downtown streets, crews pushed the snow into the parallel parking spaces on either side.
The strategy was twofold: Keep the unpopular snow barrier out of the middle of the road and keep people from parking illegally on the sides.
"We thought if we stacked snow in the downtown parking areas, people wouldn't park there," Public Works director Dave Carney said. "That didn't work for us. People just jammed their cars over the snow."
Carney said the city received complaints that motorists couldn't access the meters, and some parked more out in the lanes than near the parking spaces.
This time, he said, the city plans to return to plowing the snow into windrows as usual. But the city is hoping people better catch on not to park in the spots when 2 inches or greater of snow accumulates.
Those in violation with the policy could receive a $30 fine, which is enforceable by police officers, code enforcement staff and parking meter attendants.
"Our biggest thing is, how can we encourage compliance rather than just issuing $30 tickets?" Carney said. "We want people to comply and understand that after we get a 2-inch snowfall downtown, it's a process for us to get the snow removed.
Monday's plan came after the city ran into problems with compliance during a 12-inch snowfall on Jan. 22 that put the city under a snow emergency for much of the week. As city crews had heaped snow into windrows in the middle lanes of the downtown one-way streets, Carney said cars parking in cleared parking spaces downtown hampered plows' ability to travel down the sometimes narrow lanes and to clear the snow for disposal from the streets.
He said the city issued hundreds of tickets to cars parked on emergency routes and those in violation of the odd-even parking guidelines during the five-day snow emergency declared by Mayor Bob Scott.
He said some tickets issued in the first half of the week were voided due to a misunderstanding that cars were allowed park in the angle parking in the 600 and 700 blocks of Douglas Street by Sioux City Hall and the Woodbury County Courthouse.
He said for now, the city is going back to creating windrows. But during another large snow it may again try pushing it into the parking spaces.