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Remove winter parking ban in Watertown, MA

This petition had 1,082 supporters

Effective November 28, 2016 and continuing to April 1, 2017 the Winter Parking Ban will be in effect and strictly enforced. The regulation reads in part; “No vehicle may remain on any public way for more than one hour between the hours of 1AM and 6AM all days of the week”.

No matter what the weather conditions there is no overnight street parking in the City of Watertown from late November to the first of April. This rule forces property owners and landlords to accommodate all vehicles on their property for four months out of the year.

THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH COSTS: Instead of green spaces, lawns, and gardens, homeowners are forced to pave property to accommodate all vehicles during the winter months. Pavement has a horrible impact on the environment because it prevents water penetration and natural filtration. The TOXIC RUNOFF from a driveway is often forced along side homes and over sidewalks where it can be easily in contact with humans. By parking on the street the toxins leaked from a vehicle are kept in the street where they can easily pass into drainage instead of flowing near entrance ways or over sidewalks. 

THE RENTAL MARKET COSTS: As a homeowner and landlord it can be difficult to rent a unit when there isn't adequate parking during the winter months. The parking ban means more parking space needs to be built and maintained which increases operating costs while degreasing marketability because there are never enough spaces and/or there is not enough green space around the house.  


QUALITY OF LIFE COST: In an urban environment, where the average price of a home is over $600,000 that the property must accommodate at least two vehicles if not more depending on the property layout. Creating a parking space can cost many thousands of dollars and removes green space from the property owner. The maintenance can also run thousands a year. Roads are paid for and maintained already largely from property taxes. This space is EMPTY overnight for four months out of the year for NO GOOD REASON! Let's give space back to our families to enjoy for a garden, a yard, a porch, or ANYTHING other than a REDUNDANT parking space. 

THE SOLUTION: Two sister cities already have a perfectly good solution to this problem and face an equal if not more restrictive snow clearing problem in the winter. Cambridge and Somerville both enforce one side parking bans ONLY when there is bad weather. The rest of the time residents are able to park on the street overnight. Let's use this SIMPLE and LOGICAL approach to winter parking in Watertown so we can remove the many square miles of private pavement from our city. 




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