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Sunday, December 26, 2010

City Declares Snow Emergency!

Based on current weather projections, the City will be declaring a snow emergency effective at Noon on Sunday, December 26, 2010. During snow emergencies parking is allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street only (unless otherwise posted). Cars not moved from the even-numbered side of the street by 4:00 P.M. Sunday may be subject to ticketing and towing. Residents unable to find a parking space on the odd-numbered side of the street may park in any municipal lot or in designated school parking lots.

The city’s snow emergency policy is designed to clear streets quickly and effectively during a storm and to guarantee open, passable streets during and after the storm. This is often a difficult task in a city as densely populated as Somerville. In the past, failure to enforce the policy has led to impassable streets and snowed-in parking lots, resulting in inconvenienced residents, reduced commerce, and endangered public safety.

To ensure effective snow removal and avoid such problems, the city has adopted an aggressive policy toward making sure roadways are cleared in advance of a storm so snow plows can do their work. Residents are advised to read the following procedures carefully.

A snow emergency will be declared when four or more inches of snow are predicted.

Residents have four hours after the snow declaration to move their cars. Ticketing and towing will begin four hours after the declaration. (More on ticketing and towing below.) (Towing before the snow actually hits the ground is necessary to ensure clear streets for the plows.)

It is strongly advised that residents move their cars as soon as an emergency is declared in order to avoid any confusion about timelines.


The Commissioner of the Department of Public Works will notify the Communications Department of the emergency. The Communications Department will immediately notify the local access television channel (Channel 16 for Comcast customers; Channel 13 for RCN customers) and all major broadcast channels and radio stations.

The Somerville Police will immediately begin making announcements from their vehicles, warning residents to move their cars.

Residents may call the 24-hour Snow Line at (617) 628-SNOW (7669) to find out when an emergency is in effect.
Flashing blue lights, installed at major intersections at entrances to the City of Somerville, will be activated as soon as an emergency is declared, and will remain flashing until the emergency is removed.

Parking is allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street only during a snow emergency, unless otherwise posted. Residents with cars on the even side of the street must either move their cars to the odd side or, if they cannot find a space, move to another location (available city lots are listed below.)

Ticketing of cars parked on the even-numbered side of the street will commence on all streets four hours after the emergency is declared.

Towing of cars parked on the even-numbered side of the street will also commence four hours after the emergency is declared. If your car is towed you may retrieve it from Pats Towing 617-776-5810.

Again, it is strongly advised that residents move their cars as soon as an emergency is declared to avoid any confusion about timelines.
Fines during a snow emergency:
Failure to Move Car to Proper Side of Street: $100
Tow Zone/Obstructing Snow Plow: $100
Within 10 ft. of Hydrant/Designated Fire Lane: $100
Within 20 ft. of an Intersection: $100

Residents may park in the designated areas listed below during a snow emergency.
Once the snow emergency is lifted, vehicles must be removed within two hours.

Permit parking enforcement will resume twenty-four hours after the snow emergency has been lifted. It is the responsibility of the resident to clean off their vehicle and ensure their Residential or Visitor parking permit is visible. Parking Control Officers are not authorized to remove snow from any vehicle. If the permit is not visible the vehicle WILL be ticketed for Permit Parking Violation.

City Ordinance restricts any vehicle from remaining in the same space on any street for a period exceeding 48 hours. This violation will be strictly enforced on both the odd and even sides of the street 48 hours after the snow emergency has been lifted. Failure to comply will result in the ticketing and potential towing of the vehicle.

- Argenziano School (290 Washington Street)
- Capuano Early Childhood Center [150 Glen Street]
- Kennedy School (5 Cherry Street)
- SCAT Municipal Lot, Kiley Barrel Municipal Lot (Union Square)
- Cummings School [42 Prescott Street]
- Healey School [5 Meacham Street]
- Brown School [201 Willow Avenue]
- West Somerville Neighborhood School [177 Powder House Blvd.]
- Winter Hill Community School (115 Sycamore Street)

Municipal Buildings
- City Hall Concourse (93 Highland Ave.)
- Central Library (79 Highland Ave.)
- West Branch Library (40 College Ave.)
- All metered municipal parking lots

Municipal parking lots Location
Buena Vista Lot Buena Vista Road, (via Holland St. or Meacham Rd)
Day Street Lot (Day Street)
Grove Street Lot A (Grove St. at Highland Ave, referred to as “Brooks/ Lot”)
Grove Street Lot B (Grove St. east side, between Highland Ave & Elm St, “Grove Street Lot”)
Cutter Square Lot (Elm St/ Summer St at Cutter Ave)
Magoun Square Lot (Broadway at Medford Street)
Winter Hill Lot A (Broadway, north side between Fellsway west and Wheatland St)
Winter Hill Lot B (Broadway, north side between Wheatland St and Grant St)
Union Square Lot (Off Washington St, entrance at Washington St/Bonner Ave)
Prospect St Lot (Prospect St at Somerville Ave/Washington St)
Mount Vernon St Lot (Broadway between Mount Vernon St and Mt Pleasant St)
Foss Park Lot (Foss Park at Broadway)
Veterans Memorial Skating Rink (rear) (581 Somerville Avenue)


The streets will be treated with salt and sand once the snow begins.
Plowing will begin after two inches of snow has fallen.
Main roads, cross town streets, bus routes and the “hospital hills” will be plowed first.
Plows will be sent out in tandem where applicable to plow to the curb on the even side of the street.


Residents must shovel, salt or sand their sidewalks when it snows.
Residents have six hours between sunrise and sunset after the snow stops to shovel sidewalks.
Residents are not allowed to shovel snow into the street.
Not complying with these provisions could result in a $25.00 fine for the 1st offense, $50 for the 2nd and $100 for each susequent offense.

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