About Snow Emergency Parking Exceptions

Policy

In winter seasons that begin in an even year, there will be even-side-only parking during snow emergencies (park-even season), except where otherwise posted. In winter seasons that begin in an odd year, there will be odd-side-only parking during snow emergencies (park-odd season), except where otherwise posted. The intent of this policy is to equitably distribute the potential hardships of snow and ice removal from plowing operations.

Exceptions

Parking on a limited number of streets will not alternate during snow emergencies. There are two situations in which parking will always be on the same side of the street during a snow emergency, regardless of the whether it is a park-even or park-odd season. These exceptions are intended to improve operational efficiency, ensure public safety, and achieve the original intention of the alternating snow emergency parking policy.

There will be no alternating snow emergency parking on streets that meet the following criteria:

  1. Streets where there is parking on only one side of the street during normal conditions. For example, Richardson Street only has parking on the odd side. Parking will remain on the odd side of Richardson Street during snow emergencies during both park-even and park-odd seasons. Parking is allowed on only one side of certain streets either for public safety (to allow expedient and appropriate access to all residences by the Fire Department) or because the width or slope of the street does not allow for safe parking on both sides.
  2. Streets that have parking on both sides of the street but that have no buildings on one side of the street for the duration of the plow route. Parking will only be allowed on the side of the street with homes. For example, Fellsway West runs along Foss Park. Parking will only be allowed on the even side (the side of the street with homes) during snow emergencies in both park-even and park-odd seasons. This will allow the plow to push snow to the side of the street without homes, which saves residents from removing snow and ice buildup and improves operational efficiency for plow drivers.

The City has completed an evaluation of all streets in Somerville and determined which qualify for exception from the alternating snow emergency parking policy. These streets will have appropriate signage stating where there is no parking allowed during a snow emergency.

If there is a street that falls under one of these two exceptions but that does not have appropriate signage, please notify 311 by either calling 3-1-1 (or 617-666-3311 from a cell phone or outside the city) or emailing  311Updates@somervillema.gov. We will evaluate the street and post signs only if it satisfies one of the two criteria stated above.

The City will not exempt streets from the alternating snow emergency policy that have more parking on one side of the street than the other. In addition to other logistical burdens, doing so would negatively impact operational efficiency for snow plow drivers, who must set the angles of their plows according to the side of the street being plowed.  Such exemptions would also go against the original intent of the policy, which is to equitably distribute the potential hardships of snow and ice removal from plowing operations.

Finally, while our goal is always to avoid plowing extra snow onto sidewalks and driveways, sometimes—especially during heavy snowfall—it is unavoidable, particularly in a very densely populated community. Please know that any feedback residents provide is taken very seriously and that we communicate in real-time with our plow drivers and other staff to try to avoid these situations where possible.