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Mayor’s Corner Village of Westbury: October 18, 2011

New Snow Emergency Rules Adopted for Village

With snow season fast approaching, and following last year, when snow was particularly heavy and frequent, the village board recently enacted a number of changes to the village’s snow emergency rules and procedures. The changes will enhance the village’s ability to address snow emergencies in a timely and efficient manner, and to best provide for public safety during snow emergencies.

The following changes and enhancements result from the changes in the law:

-A snow emergency will automatically exist when snow accumulation exceeds 4.5 inches in depth. When snow reaches that depth, all motor vehicle operators are presumed to know that a snow emergency exists, and that snow emergency procedures are in place. (The village will, or course, attempt to communicate with residents when a snow emergency exists, through the use of signage, blast email messages and posts on the village website and Facebook page, among other means.)

-Snow emergencies may be declared by the Mayor or Deputy Mayor, in the Mayor’s absence, under circumstances deemed appropriate (e.g., ice accumulation on roads or similar conditions) or in anticipation of a pending storm.

-Snow emergencies will last for 72 hours, unless sooner terminated.

A number of major village streets have been designated as “snow emergency routes” so that they will receive priority plowing. No vehicles may be parked on a snow emergency route during a snow emergency. This will enable us to ensure that these major roads stay open for motorists, as well as fire and emergency personnel. A list of snow emergency streets can be obtained by calling the village Department of Public Works.

-The Mayor, or Deputy Mayor in the Mayor’s absence, may implement such other measures deemed appropriate to respond to a snow emergency.

In addition to these features of the law, residents are still subject to the parking restrictions that are in effect during a snow emergency. These include alternate side of the street parking to facilitate snow plowing. The restrictions are based on alternate days of compliance by odd and even numbered homes. Generally, parking is prohibited from 8 a.m. on the day the snow emergency begins until 8 a.m. of the following day (Monday, Wednesday and Friday for the side of the street with odd numbered homes, and Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday for the side of the street with even numbered homes). Village Code section 237-59 (available on our website at ) provides a full description of the snow emergency parking rules.

The village’s snow emergency rules are meant to ensure that our DPW personnel will be able to best clear the streets of snow and ice in order to make our streets safe for drivers and pedestrians.

Residents are also reminded that following a snowstorm, they are required to clear the sidewalks in front of their homes soon after a storm ends. Businesses are also required to clear snow from the front of their stores. Residents who live on corners or other areas where there are handicap ramps or fire hydrants should also clear these areas of snow and ice as well. Residents are also encouraged to assist elderly or disabled neighbors during snow emergencies.

While the village has the power to tow cars that are illegally parked during snow emergencies, we would prefer that residents voluntarily comply with these rules. But, in cases where it is necessary to do so, the village will have cars towed to facilitate plowing and traffic flow.

Finally, landlords are required to allow tenants to park in available driveways, and may not require that tenants park on streets. If a rental home has a driveway, it must be utilized by tenants for parking, especially during snow emergencies. Any landlord who fails to allow tenants to park in the driveway will be subject to summons, and possible nonrenewal of his/her rental permit.

By following these rules, residents can assist the village in dealing with snow emergencies in the best and most expedient manner. This will be a benefit to the entire community. We thank you for your anticipated cooperation.