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Insight from WFPD: Be aware of snow emergency routes, procedures

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As the temperature continues to fall, snow is sure to follow. The city has established Snow Emergency Routes and procedures to ensure service providers have access to your home or business in the event of an emergency. Specific rules and limitations are placed upon vehicles relating to those roadways identified as Snow Emergency Routes. Citizens are asked to take the time to identify those routes in their area and become knowledgeable of the parking restrictions. A map can be found at the Public Works website http://www.westfargond.gov/CityDepartments/PublicWorks

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Parking restrictions on Snow Emergency Routes take effect automatically when three or more inches of snow occurs. The restrictions may also occur under special order of the Superintendent of Public Works.

Parking restrictions include:

2-0403. PARKING ON SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES.

A. A parking prohibition shall automatically go into effect on any part of any primary snow emergency route on which there has been part of an accumulation of snow and ice of three inches or more for one hour or more between 6 a.m. and 11 p.m. of any day.

B. A prohibition of parking on secondary snow emergency routes will only come into effect upon announcement as set out in Section 2-0402. The announcement may include all or part of the secondary snow emergency routes and may provide different times for prohibited parking on different streets and avenues.

C. Once in effect, a prohibition under this section shall remain in effect until terminated by announcement of the superintendent of streets in accordance with this chapter, except that any street area which has become substantially clear of snow and ice from curb to curb for the length of the entire block shall be automatically excluded therefrom. While the prohibition is in effect, no person shall park or allow to remain parked any vehicle on any portion of a primary snow emergency route to which it applies. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit parking at any time or place where it is forbidden by any other provision of law.

If you are driving on a snow emergency route during a snow emergency, please be aware of the requirement to immediately remove your vehicle if the vehicle becomes stalled. Snow removal equipment operators will contact law enforcement when they discover a vehicle stopped upon the emergency route. Law enforcement may attempt to contact the registered owner of the vehicle if time allows; otherwise, the vehicle is subject to immediate impound. The best way to avoid becoming stalled on a snow emergency route is to heed winter storm warnings and no travel advisories.

2-0404. STALLED-VEHICLE ON SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTE. Whenever a vehicle becomes stalled for any reason, whether or not in violation of this chapter, on any part of a snow emergency route on which there is a covering of snow, sleet or ice or on which there is a parking prohibition in effect, the person operating such vehicle shall take immediate action to have the vehicle towed or pushed off the roadway of such snow emergency route, either into the first cross street which is not a snow emergency route, or onto the public space portion of a nearby driveway. No person shall abandon or leave his vehicle in the roadway of a snow emergency route (regardless of whether he indicates, by raising the hood or otherwise, that the vehicle is stalled), except for the purpose of securing assistance during the actual time necessary to go to a nearby telephone or to a nearby garage, gasoline station or other place of assistance and return without delay.

2-0406. IMPOUNDING VEHICLES.

A. Any vehicle stopped on any primary or secondary snow route in violation of any of the provisions of this article may be impounded, and no person shall recover any vehicle removed pursuant to this section without first paying the cost of storage either directly to the towing service and storage place, or by reimbursing the city if the city shall have previously paid such charges, plus an additional $25.00 payable to the city to cover the costs of the city in assisting the impounding of said vehicle.

B. In addition to the fees set forth in subsection A, any person violating any of the provisions of Chapter 2-04 of the Revised Ordinances of 1990 of the City of West Fargo,

North Dakota, shall be guilty of an infraction and shall be subject to the penalties set forth in Section 1-0211.

You can assist the city in clearing the roadways of snow by parking your vehicle off the roadway during and following snow events. The snow removal operators concentrate on opening the roadways to travel as soon as the snow event has ended. When vehicles are left parked upon the roadway the operator must go around the vehicle leaving a ridge of snow on the roadway. Crews must be sent back later to clear the remaining snow.

Pay attention to the weather forecast to know of pending storms. Be prepared at home or at the office to avoid the need to travel during a snow event or travel advisory. Be aware of the location of the snow emergency routes to avoid having your vehicle towed. Move your vehicle from the roadway to allow the snow removal operators to efficiently and effectively remove the snow from the roadways. Do your part during the upcoming snow season.

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