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Insight from WFPD: Know your responsibilities in snow removal

(The following is part two of a column beginning last week pertaining to citizen and business responsibility regarding parking on city streets when snow removal becomes necessary. Adopted West Fargo City ordinances are the basis for the information.)

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.

Failure to follow the restrictions on stopping or parking may result in your vehicle being towed.


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

If you live in an area where a cul-de-sac is present you must be aware of the requirement to park parallel to the curb line unless the roadway is signed for angle in parking. The center of the cul-de-sac is used by the street crews to temporarily stick pile snow and must remain clear of vehicles.

13-1601. PARALLEL PARKING AND DIAGONAL PARKING. The owner, driver or person operating or in charge of any vehicle shall not permit the same to stand or be parked upon any street where there are adjacent curbs unless such vehicle is parallel with the street and the inside wheels not to exceed 18 inches from the right-hand curb or street line. Vehicles must be so parked as to economize parking space for all cases and be so placed as to form, where possible, continuous lines. The police department may, by signs, markers, paint or other devices, limit the parking area, and no vehicle shall be parked wholly or partly outside the indicated and permitted parking area; provided that all vehicles shall be parked diagonally to the curb or any street or avenue if said street or avenue is posted or marked by the police department for said diagonal parking. Where parking is permitted on one-way street the above regulations shall apply except that vehicles parking on the left side of the one-way street shall park parallel to the street and with the wheels on the left side of the automobile not to exceed 18 inches from the left curb or street line.

The final topic of public safety relating to snow removal relates to fire hydrants. During the course of a fire in your neighborhood firefights will need to access the fire hydrants located in the area. By taking the time to clear an area four to six feet around the fire hydrant you allow the fire fighters to quickly locate and access the water supply available. The time spent by fire fighters attempting to locate and clear a hydrant covered in snow can make a difference in saving a life.

Think safety while removing snow. Follow the safety precautions for the equipment you are using. Dress appropriately for the weather and surface you will be walking on. Remember to pace yourself and not over exert. Remain hydrated. November is behind us so we only have five more months to go.