City reminds drivers of change to parking rules

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This sign at the corner of Columbia Avenue and Third Street reminds drivers of the new alternate side parking restrictions. (Heidi Desch/Whitefish Pilot)

Whitefish drivers are being reminded that new parking rules have gone into effect in the city.

The city has implemented alternate side parking running from Oct. 1 through April 30. The rule requires vehicles to park on alternative sides of the street depending on the date.

Cars are required to park on the even house-numbered sides of the street on even number calendar days, and the odd house-numbered sides of the street on odd number calendar days between the hours of 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Public Works Director Craig Workman says the city’s previous system wasn’t working.

“Our old parking ordinance was broken and this is an attempt to fix it,” he said. “This concept has taken off in a lot of communities. We know there will be a learning curve, but we hope people will embrace it.”

The alternate side parking is in effect everyday, even if it doesn’t snow. Workman says the rule is also to help promote effective leaf collection and street sweeping operations.

“This really helps with our efficiency,” he said. “When there is a car parked on the street you miss two-and-a-half car lengths of sweeping or plowing.”

Alternate side parking begins at 5 a.m. every morning regardless of whether it snows or not. Therefore, you should plan to park or move your vehicle after 5 p.m. each day to the side of the road where it will be OK to park the following day.

For example, if a person parks at 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 and does not plan to move the vehicle until the next morning, the person would park on the even side of the street because it will be Dec. 4 after 5 a.m. and the alternate-side parking will go into effect before the person plans to move the vehicle.

The parking rules do not apply to streets where alternate-side parking is not available, such as cul-de-sacs, or a street where no parking is allowed on one or both sides of the street or streets with angled parking.

In the downtown area there is no parking from 2:30 a.m. to 6 a.m.

Under city ordinance, any vehicle parked where it’s not allowed can be towed at the owner’s expense. Vehicles will only be towed after multiple citations or after a significant snowfall, the city says.

Warning stickers are already being placed on vehicles that are not in compliance.

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