NEWTOWN SQUARE–Ticketing has increased since it was announced at a Newtown Township Board of Supervisors meeting in June that police will enforce the township's overnight parking ordinance. The ordinance currently states no overnight parking is allowed from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. on residential streets in the township.
According to the monthly incident report, Lt. Mike Savitski stated during the period between June 19 and July 4, 156 parking warnings were issued. Since July 4th, Savitski stated at last Monday's meting that a total of 62 parking tickets have been issued. So far, 23 have been satisfied, said Savitski.
One of the main reasons the enforcement for overnight parking has increased is due to the emergency vehicles trying to pass through the narrow streets in the township.
"We're here for the public safety," stated Newtown Square Fire Co. Chief Doug Simpson before the public. "I know 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. sounds like a very small time and...most of the residents are asleep at those times, so the fact of being able to move your vehicle or someone's vehicle that may be impeding one of the fire apparatus, an ambulance, and a pathway to get a patient to and from...we've run into. I'm not for or against the ordinance or even the use of but just to clear some of the airwaves of what happens in those middle-of-the-night calls."
According to Simpson, the ladder truck is approximately 105 feet long and a 21-foot expansion from an outrigger on one side to the outrigger on the other side. Simpson said the truck would need 21 feet of roadway to make sure the firefighters wil be able to adequately use that aerial device should a fire emergency occur at a resident's home in the middle of the night.
Though it's not stated in the ordinance, Supervisors Chairman Joseph Catania stated that the township's policy allowed residents to park on the street, just as long as two tires are parked on top of the curb or grass.
A handful of residents from Rockwood Road, Mulberry Lane, Pickwick Lane, and Valley View Lane showed up at Monday's meeting to raise their concerns about the parking issues along their streets.
Leonard Altieri III, the second precinct committeeman for the Republican Party, stated that he started a petition on the parking ordinance after receiving complaints from several neighbors.
Twenty-four year resident Donna Hislop, of Elgin Road, stated she had six members of her household who can drive and hoped for more of a permanent law for residents on Elgin Road to park their own cars on the street.
Hislop said Elgin Road is not a narrow road, "No problem with emergency vehicles no matter who is parked on either side. The question is...for emergency vehicles, is there any way to address this for the really narrow streets maybe can't park or can't park all four tires there but the wider streets can."
Candy Sabrese, who lives on Third Avenue also addressed the board and stated her family has been parking on the street for 10 years now without being ticketed. According to the resident, her street has high curbs in which cars cannot park on top of the curb due to the height.
"There's no way you can have two tires or any tires on our ground whatsoever," said Sabrese. "Everybody in the house has a car. There's no room and there isn't anywhere else to go. We even widened our driveway to try accommodating more cars and there still isn't room. It has been mentioned that for some streets that are wider that we can have that and for some streets we can't. It has to be all or nothing."
Catania responded that parking could occur on one side of the street as well and stated a study may be implemented by the township engineer on the parking issue for streets around town. Catania said the supervisors will then look at exploring the idea of amending the parking ordinance after the study's findings.
In addition, Township Manager Mike Trio stated a a previous survey was taken around town on the various parking signs in which 64-80 signs need to be repaired or replaced.