Big Dig for City Drivers Before Weather Turns Nasty

Dreaded return of street parking rules

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Drivers in New York, it's time to play, "find a legal parking spot!" before rains and wet snow hit our area.

    However, before drivers can move their cars, many will have to dig out from layers of snow and ice.

    The onset of milder weather over the weekend brought a tough reality Monday for many drivers: the resumption of alternate side of the street parking rules.

    Another tough reality is expected for Monday night into Tuesday -- rain gradually mixing with snow and sleet in the city -- with colder, windy weather on its heels.

    A slushy snowfall that could measure two to three inches is in the cards for the northwestern suburbs, like Upper Passaic, Sussex and northwest Bergen in New Jersey up into parts of the Hudson Valley. 

    The weight of the winter's snow and ice has entombed cars throughout the five boroughs.  One driver was found dead inside his car found in Astoria Queens Friday.  Last seen Wednesday, he may have been dead inside the car for two days, officials said.  The Medical Examiner is investigating his cause of death.

    The heavy snow  also caused the partial collapse of the domed Adirondack Sports Complex,  in upstate New  York late Sunday.  It was empty at the time.

    As for area motorists, it will be a tall order to dig out.

    "We're going to have to find a shovel and dig it out because we don't keep one in our apartment," said Shari Levine, a car owner from the Upper West Side. "The plows need to come through and get rid of all of this snow. A lot of spaces have been useless."

    The city's Department of Sanitation couldn't agree more. It says if drivers move their cars based on what the street sign above their vehicle says, then it'll help workers with snow removal and street cleaning.

    In Astoria, one car after another was enveloped in snow and ice. Drivers there said the city was crazy to start enforcing parking rules when all this storm mess remains.
     
    "Doing alternate side of the street parking on monday... It's ludicrous," said Kevin Arbouet.  "People are not going to be able to do it."

    If drivers don't move their cars when the street sign says they need to, they risk getting a parking ticket. Drivers are split over how aggressive officers will be in writing tickets.

    "I think the police will be lenient initially, right?!" sais car owner Allan Ripp.

    Driver Dennis Quigley, disagreed, saying, "I think the city will make a lot of money."

    What's also causing concern among drivers:  how their cars will run after being buried under ice and snow for a week or more.

    "I don't even think those cars will be able to start," said Ripp.  "A lot of the batteries are dead. People are still shoveling. So they'll be lucky if they can get their cars jumped or towed."