SCHENECTADY — After getting lashed by the public over its response to last week’s winter storm, the city is considering the launching of an alternate side parking pilot program in the city’s Bellevue neighborhood.
Many streets in the neighborhood already contain that designation, city Signals Superintendent John Coluccio told the City Council on Monday, making it a prime spot to roll out the concept.
Yet officials acknowledged the designation is not widely enforced.
Since Bellevue is the furthest away from the city’s Department of Public Works headquarters on Foster Avenue in the city’s Northside, it’s advantageous for city crews to study ways to avoid making treks back-and-forth during heavy snowfalls, Coluccio said.
City Councilman John Polimeni has been working with Coluccio on the concept, studying interactive maps containing data on the city’s parking regulations.
City Hall can move unilaterally on the pilot as it doesn’t require permission from City Council.
Yet an endorsement would strengthen prospects for momentum, Coluccio said.
Lawmakers tentatively threw their support behind the pilot pending submission of a written proposal that would outline the program.
“There’s going to be a proposal that will be put forward in the future,” Polimeni said.
City Councilwoman Karen Zalewski-Wildzunas on Monday pushed officials to craft concrete solutions following two consecutive years in which the city has come under heavy criticism for its storm response.
“It’s a great way for us to start organizing throughout the city,” Zalewski-Wildzunas said.
Some lawmakers wanted further study and feedback from residents and neighborhood associations.
“We don’t want to tick off people,” Councilman Ed Kosiur said.
Alternate side parking would help the city better clear streets during heavy snowfalls (and also aid with street-sweeping in warmer months), Coluccio said, because ideally, cars would all simply be on one side of the street.
Streets with no restrictions generate the highest number of complaints during storms, Coluccio told lawmakers during a sprawling discussion on the city’s storm response. The city has come under heavy criticism by the public over its cleanup efforts, which left some side streets uncleared days after the 30-inch snowfall.
discussed as Officials acknowledged enforcement during heavy snowfalls can be spotty.
“The ongoing education is difficult and the first storm is always the most difficult,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said.
At present, all neighborhoods have varying degrees of parking restrictions, although Woodlawn contains the highest number of streets with no restrictions.
Officials acknowledged alternate side parking is not an automatic fix citywide due to the narrowness of some streets, including those in the Stockade neighborhood.
“It’s a test,” Polimeni said. “If it goes well, we can implement it in other sections.”
City Council discussed the concept after last year’s storm in December, but talks were sidetracked following the COVID-19 pandemic, Polimeni said.