Iowa City issues new snow emergency ordinance - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Iowa City issues new snow emergency ordinance

IOWA CITY (KWWL) -- The City Council of Iowa City recently approved a snow emergency ordinance designed to limit on-street parking during a snow emergency to allow plows to access and clear the entire street during extreme winter storms.

The new policy will have major effects on those who park their vehicles on the streets of Iowa City outside of the Central Business District. Please note these new policies to avoid ticketing and towing of your vehicle.

When will a Snow Emergency be declared?
• When weather and road conditions merit, the City Manager's office will declare a snow emergency.
• There will be a minimum of 4 hours notice before enforcement begins.
• If declared after 8:00 p.m., it will go into effect at 8:00 a.m. the following day.
• Time and day for both beginning and end of the snow emergency will be included in the initial declaration. The minimum duration will be 48 hours; however, the ending time and date can be amended if necessary because of weather conditions.

How can I find out if a Snow Emergency has been declared?
• Go to home page - an alert will be posted during snow emergencies. Detailed information on snow emergency parking regulations is available at
• Subscribe to e-mail or text alerts for snow emergencies at
• Telephone the automated Snow Emergency Line at 319-356-0100, available 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Please do not call 9-1-1, the Police Department or Streets Division, in order to keep their phone lines available for emergency calls.
• Signs will be posted at the major entrances to Iowa City.

I park my vehicle on a City street that has no posted parking restrictions on either side. What do I need to do during a Snow Emergency?
• When a snow emergency is declared, streets that normally permit parking on both sides of the street will be subject to "alternate side of the street" parking.
• On odd days of the month, parking will be allowed on the odd-numbered side of the street (usually south or west sides, but check house numbers to be sure). On even days of the month, parking will be allowed on the even-numbered side of the street (usually north or east sides). Normal restrictions still apply. Parked vehicles cannot block sidewalks, crosswalks, or driveways; or be within 10 ft. of stop signs or within 5 ft. of fire hydrants.

Posted signage, such as "No Parking Anytime" overrules snow emergency parking regulations.

What are the penalties if I don't follow the snow emergency parking rules?
There will be no warning tickets given. Cars will be ticketed and towed.

Who will not be affected by the new Snow Emergency policies?
• The downtown Central Business District (area bounded by Iowa Avenue, Gilbert Street, Burlington Street, and Capitol Street) is not affected by these new parking rules. Existing parking restrictions will remain in effect.
• The snow emergency does not affect metered parking spaces or loading zones.

Alternative Parking Locations:
The number of on-street parking spaces will be very limited during a snow emergency. You should plan ahead where you will move your car. Your best option is to move your car to an off-street parking space. If you cannot do this on private property, the following public parking options are available:
• Dubuque Street Ramp (220 S. Dubuque Street)
• Capitol Street Ramp (Burlington & Capitol Streets)
• Tower Place & Parking (Iowa Avenue & Gilbert Streets)
• Chauncey Swan Ramp (on Washington Street across from City Hall). Access lower level from Washington Street, upper levels from College Street bridge
• Court Street Transportation Center Ramp (Dubuque & Court Streets)
For overnight parking, there will be no charge for cars that exit before 7:00 a.m. Cars leaving after 7:00 a.m. will be charged the normal rate for the full duration of the stay.
Overnight parking is also available in parking lots of all City parks during a declared snow emergency. This parking is limited to a maximum of 48 hours.

Additional Reminders:
• For more detailed information on how on-street parking is affected in specific areas of the city, such as in the "calendar parking" areas, go to or refer to printed information to be mailed to each resident of Iowa City in early December.

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