The city of Omaha is again preparing us for the worst this winter. You can expect one major change with this season's snow emergency plan.
If you don’t move your vehicle to the proper side of the street during a declared snow emergency, the city will fine or tow you.
"A lot of the time it's just white-knuckle driving, you just barely miss cars on both sides by inches and then sometimes you get down a street, you think you can get through, there's cars on both sides and you get all the way down to the intersection and someone is parked not all the way next to the curb, so you have to back up all the way out,” says snowplow driver Josh Herber.
The city is trying to help Josh and other plow operators by spending $25,000 to get the word out in English and Spanish and on the Web. During a snow emergency, parking on streets east of 72nd must comply with the odd/even parking plan.
This winter, the city plans to put a little more bite into the program. “Vehicles found in violation will be given a $50 ticket,” says Omaha Mayor Jim Suttle.
No parking zones indicated by a sign will be waived during a snow emergency, but no parking zones indicated by signs and their arrows are always in effect. So, neighborhoods with a lot of apartments or few driveways could have a tough time getting out of the way of a plow.
"I don't like it,” says Sarah Steinhilber, who lives east of 72nd Street. “I can see why they have to do it, but it's gonna be a big inconvenience and they're probably gonna get a lot of fights on the fines.”
“We're going to be asking, when possible, that neighbors work with neighbors, please get cars into driveways, double up, triple up, help your senior citizens with their vehicles,” says the mayor.
Click here to download the brochure for the city of Omaha’s snow plan and winter operation procedures.