New fines, new restrictions and a complete ban on street parking.
Those are all in new proposed rules scheduled to get a vote by the La Crosse city council next month.
If nothing else, April snowfalls this year in La Crosse sparked the push for the rule changes regulating winter parking on streets.
Three different times this spring the city attempted to use current snow emergency rules to get cars off certain sides of the street. Each time, compliance was minimal though police didn’t ticket or tow any cars because the current rules appeared to be unenforceable.
Under current rules, parking offenders could pay up to $160 for not obeying alternate-side parking during the winter months after several violations. One proposed fee change would max that out at $60. The first violation would be a warning. Updates are in store for other parking fines as well.
Other rule changes would better define just what a snow emergency is. Under the proposals, there are clear definitions about when and where to move your car both during the regular alternate-side parking enforcement period and outside that time.
One of the changes would mandate no parking on any street during snow accumulation of 12 inches or more until the streets get cleared.
The proposed changes also allow for enforcement of alternate-side parking during the other months if there might be freezing rain, sleet, ice or some other wintry mess that would make travel tough for first responders.
If it snows heavy, at least three inches is enough to call for emergency alternate-side parking rules to go into effect.