At a township council meeting last week, council members considered changing the current rule, which allows for no parking on the street from November through April. Some council members advocated for a rule similar to the one in place in Ridgewood, which says that residents are only banned from parking on the street when snow is on the ground.
The council discussed the parking rule at its meeting last week after Council President John Roth said he received some questions on the issue from Police Chief Jim Batelli on whether or not the township could switch to the snowtime-only parking restrictions.
Councilman Roy Larson advocated to switch the township ordinance to banning on-street parking only when snow is on the ground.
“That makes the most sense because it’s the snow that’s the problem,” he said.
Most other council members, however, said they preferred sticking to Mahwah’s current rule.
Councilman Harry Williams said the Ridgewood-type ordinance would be “too vague and subjective,” saying that it would be difficult to enforce, especially in unpredictable weather. He also said the town hasn’t had an issue with the current method.
“If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it,” he said.
Councilman Steve Sbarra also brought up leaf collection as a reason not to change the rule.
“We are one of the few towns that allows people to pile their leaves at the street,” he said. Adding parked cars to the mix when leaf piles are around the township during the fall and winter months could create a dangerous situation, he said.
Though the council decided to deny a switch to the parking rules, it does plan to amend the on-street parking ordinance. According to council members, residents who wish to have an exception granted to the rule request it through the police department, and the PD has the discretion to grant a temporary exception. Though the practice has been in place for at least 30 years, council members said it is not currently reflected in the ordinance.
“I have no problem with the past practice, but it should be codified,” Roth said. The council will likely introduce an amendment to the ordinance that outlines the procedure for requesting a temporary exemption from the parking rule at its next meeting.