Fines Could Pile Up Like Snowdrifts
Omaha, NE - Some of us don't want to think about snow yet, but the city of Omaha wants you to remember one important thing this winter: move your car during a snow emergency or pay the price.
This year, if there is enough snow to declare a snow emergency, ignoring the city's parking rules could cost you $50. Mayor Jim Suttle announced the new fine today, double the previous $25 dollar fine.
Omaha's snow emergency plan includes odd-even parking in neighborhoods east of 72nd street, where many people don't have driveways. On odd-number days, park on the side of the street with odd-number addresses. On even number days, park on the other side of the street. "We have to work together on this," said Mayor Suttle. "Neighbors have to help neighbors to get the cars off the street when we declare an emergency."
Near 9th & Hickory, cars are parked bumper-to-bumper, even on a clear day. Chris Christensen thinks the fine is fair and wants the city to enforce it, "If they actually do it and start ticketing people, then they'll probably get off their behinds and come out and start moving vehicles. If they don't enforce it, it's kind of pointless."
Christensen says many of his neighbors ignore the parking rules; he has seen cars towed away but has never seen anyone get a ticket during a snowstorm.
The city considers many factors before declaring a snow emergency including how much snow will fall, how cold will it be after the snow stops and how strong will the wind be? Even during the blizzard earlier this year, Mayor Suttle did not declare a snow emergency.
The city plans to spend up to $25,000 on public service messages and pamphlets that will be distributed in the neighborhoods. You can also get the snow emergency information at www.cityofomaha.org.