In a change to past policy, the town has decided to do away with its traditional winter parking ban this year.
The Traffic Safety Advisory Group voted on Oct. 5 to recommend that Town Manager Michael Borg end the annual ban and transition to an on-call parking ban during certain weather or emergency conditions. The change comes after the City of Attleboro ended its winter parking ban in September.
Borg told the Town Council at the Oct. 11 meeting that the on-call parking ban will go into effect on Nov. 1. Per the town bylaws, the town manager can implement a new parking ban without the council’s approval.
Borg said the advisory group agreed that the new on-call parking ban would give motorists more flexibility when parking their vehicles this winter by having the town only ban parking during certain weather or emergency-related events. In previous years, the town would ban all parking on public ways from the hours of 1-6 a.m. In 2022, the ban lasted from December through April 1.
“We had a really good discussion about this,” Borg said of the new ban. “We even had one resident come in and strongly advocate for getting rid of the current winter parking ban.”
While the council did not vote on the measure, some supported the change. Council President Justin Pare said the lack of snow events in 2022 made the parking ban obsolete. He said technology such as the Big Red 311 system helps motorists receive alerts on their devices asking them to move their vehicles.
“There’s got to be a better way to do it these days,” Pare said of the parking ban. “No need for there to be a 90–120-day parking ban.”
During the advisory group meeting, North Attleborough Police Chief Capt. Jason Roy and North Attleborough Fire Chief Chris Coleman said they had no qualms against changing from a standing ban to an on-call ban.
Department of Public Works Director Mark Hollowell was not against the ban but expressed concerns about vehicles blocking the road during snow cleanup operations. Hollowell suggested a fine should be given for motorists who leave their vehicles during the on-call bans if they do not comply. After hearing no opposition to the idea, Hollowell voted in favor of the recommendation.
“I am not 100% opposed to it,” Hollowell said. “We would need to have a determination of what is effective. If you’re going to do it, I think there should be a $150 fine.”