Over 150 residents in Wyandotte learned the hard way about traffic enforcement during snow emergencies this winter.
From Jan. 2 to Jan. 7, Wyandotte police issued 165 tickets for parking on city streets.
Police made attempts to contact owners, whose vehicles were registered to the city, by visiting their homes or apartments. But the majority of vehicles were towed after police were unable to find the owners.
Dave Rothermal, the city's sanitation supervisor, said 53 vehicles were towed because of the weather emergency.
Groat Bros. Towing, the contracted towing company for the Wyandotte Police Department, said it boils down to one thing: Common sense.
When a snow emergency has been declared, all vehicles must be removed from the street in order for the DPS to clear them, a company employee said.
“Most people don’t have driveways and just need a place to park,” the employee said. “We tell people about the emergency lots, where they can find them, etc., but by then it’s usually too late.”
Any vehicle left on the roadway after a snow emergency will be towed at the owner's expense.
“They’re basically abandoned after that because they haven’t moved for 48 hours,” the employee said.
Per City Ordinance Section 2.5a "Abandoned Vehicles": All vehicles must be moved every 48 hours. Failure to remove vehicles will result in towing, at the owner's expense.
We’re not the bad guys, “but when the police call us we still have a job to do,” the company said.
Wyandotte DPS said once the street has been plowed curb-to-curb residents can resume parking.
If all residents cooperated it would make the job much easier, Rothermal said.
The DPS currently has 12 full-time employees working 16 hours a day in the event of a snow emergency.
“As of yesterday, 53 cars were towed, and they’re still towing them,” Rothermal said. "We’re done plowing the roads, but the cars that have been left are going to get ticketed or towed by police for not following the city ordinance."
Rothermal says this is the year police said 'enough is enough.'
"If it happens again, I hope people respond better. It’s a big help to us because we can get the job done quicker," he said.
Also, Rothermal asks residents not to throw the snow back onto the streets after shoveling their driveways.
"This weekend we're supposed to have an inch of rain and all that snow is going to make the roads much more difficult to drive on."
In a recent article, Patch reader April Smith Ciolek advised residents to seek alternative parking.
"Ask a neighbor if you can share their driveway, park in your alley, team-up with your neighbors and (plow) the snow, (or) have someone follow you to the parking lot and give you a ride back. We have to be responsible for some snow removal on our own. Unfortunately, there is no 100 percent perfect solution. It's winter.”