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Overnight Parking Woes in Newtown

Residents speak out about Newtown Township's picked up enforcement of overnight parking on residential streets in the township.

NEWTOWN SQUARE–Ticketing has increased since it was announced at a Board of Supervisors . 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 . 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. 

Ruth Alexander July 24, 2012 at 10:08 AM
There was a house fire during the night on Mulberry Lane. There must have been at least 20 different fire trucks, police cars and various rescue vehicles flying up the street. If there had been just one car on the street, they may not have been able to reach the burning home. Enforcing this ordinance is inconvenient for many, but last night was the very reason that this issue needs to be addressed.
2-NA July 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM
Maybe it should be street by street, not an overall ordinance.
Stel July 24, 2012 at 01:32 PM
This ordinance should only apply to streets where parking on them will cause an issue for emergency vehicle traffic.
Lynda A. July 24, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Indeed there was emergency vehicles from at least six different fire departments and many more cars from responders who didn't make the trucks in time, (20 is a low estimation).They were coming down Mulberry, Valley View (and up Valley View from Rt 3) and Pickwick and parked all over! One spectator parked their car near my house at the bend in Mulberry and a fire truck had slight difficulity getting past. Yes, it may be inconvenient but if it was your house and the vehicles were delayed, you would not feel the same way about parking in the street anymore. Neither belief is wrong, but last night proved why parking on one side only, needs to be enforced and perhaps throught the day as well...fires and energencies can't tell time.
Jennifer Kim (Editor) July 24, 2012 at 05:52 PM
Here's a story with photos from the house fire on Mulberry Lane last night: http://patch.com/A-ww81
paul cushing July 24, 2012 at 07:06 PM
I'd like to see the police begin to enforce speed limits on the residential streets in the township, particularly those without sidewalks. You take your life in your hands going for a walk.
M. B. July 25, 2012 at 03:58 PM
I live on a regular N.S. street - sidewalks etc. - but when cars are parked on both sides (like everyday) there is NO WAY an ambulance or firetruck or delivery truck or trash truck etc. could get through - and it HAS HAPPENED!! I have watched the UPS truck back up the street because he cant get by. This is NOT a rediculous ordinance - it may be a little inconvenient for some (like my neighbors who have 4 family members and 6 cars) but if it is their family member who needs an ambulance, or a fire truck, or their delivery not made or trash not picked up - I don't think they will find it as inconvenient as the complaints I see and hear on here and FB. It is a GOOD ordinance and should stay! It is a safety issue and also helps with revenue for the township - since there will always be folks who just won't follow the rules (like the speed limits on the side streets!)
M. B. July 25, 2012 at 04:10 PM
AGREED!!!
Laurie July 25, 2012 at 10:05 PM
I don't hear anyone mentioning Florida Park - we have the narrowest streets in the township with no sidewalks or curbs - try getting through when even one car is parked on the street - if a car is coming the other way you can't get through. And every day at 4 pm the moms in their SUVs are parked on Florida and Tuxedo to pick their kids up from the bus - what ever happened to walking home from the bus stop?
Kara July 27, 2012 at 05:27 PM
exactly, i see people going 30mph on 15mph residential streets all the time and on media line road, ive seen people going 50mph and flying around the big curves
Kara July 27, 2012 at 05:34 PM
Agreed, when i was a kid i walked home from the bus everyday
colleen carroll July 28, 2012 at 01:59 PM
and if you had a child riding the bus this past year, you TOO would be picking your child up from the bus stop in whatever vehicle you drive! Andrew's Mom!

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