City Council signs off on new snow removal street sign |

City Council signs off on new snow removal street sign

After proposing the complete elimination of wintertime roadside parking earlier this year, the City of South Lake Tahoe has decided to soften their approach.

“When we originally brought this issue to the (South Lake Tahoe City Council) in March, they expressed many concerns about the amended ordinance and the wording we used,” said public services director, Teri Jamin. “But after review by the Lodging Association and the South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce, the language has been changed and received their blessing.”

Originally, the city’s public services department, in an effort to maximize snow clearing on city streets and reduce citations and towing, proposed eliminating street-side parking for the duration of the winter. Complaints from councilmembers, business owners and residents prompted further review and the more lenient wording which was finally approved Tuesday by the city council.

Come wintertime, red and white signs posted around the city will read:

“No Parking on roadways or shoulders during snow removal operations until roads are clear to full width. Violators will be subject to $102 fine and/or towing.”

This is the third, and pending a final reading by the council, final wording for the signs.

This revised version, Jamin explained, is clearer and lets people know that snow removal is not necessarily complete just because the plows have passed. Cutting back on roadside pileup, pushing back berms and snow blowing until the street reaches its full width are all part of the process.

“This was truly reacting to the concerns of the community,” said councilman Tom Davis. “Bringing the Lodging Association and the Chamber into it signifies really using the process, and we’re very grateful.”

But according to long-time resident John Cefalu, the new wording will not affect the number of cars towed or citations issued. In fact, he said, it might make city street parking even more confusing.

“I think you had best be very careful,” Cefalu told the council. “I think this is going to create an even more difficult situation than you already have now.”

The cost for sign replacement is $9,700 and city staff will apply for a 50 percent reimbursement from an annual state snow removal subsidy.

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