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Parking is precious after heavy snowfall

January 26, 2000

Snow surfingBy KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer

photo: RIC DUGAN / staff photographer




In the aftermath of a snowstorm like Tuesday's nor'easter that dumped almost 14 inches of snow on Hagerstown, parking spaces become a precious commodity.

cont. from front page

With painted lines for parking spaces buried under snow and mounds of snow plowed against curbs, snowblowers and shovels are called into action.

Snowblowers may make the work of cleaning up after a storm easier but can be a source of irritation to others if the operator isn't careful about where the snow is flying, said Hagerstown City Police Lt. Craig Bakner.

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Hagerstown City Police received many complaints Wednesday of people throwing plowed snow back onto the streets or onto private property.

To save the parking spots they have cleared, some people line the spots with chairs or sawhorses. Bakner warned that doing so is illegal and punishable by a fine of about $50 to $100.

Bakner said he sympathizes with those who shovel out a spot only to have someone else pull their car into it. He said, however, no one owns the parking spot in front of his or her home.

"It's a fallacy," he said.

Bakner said it is his hope people will exhibit good will and tolerance in spite of the aggravations that come with a snowfall.

"Patience is the biggest thing, even in good weather," he said.

Bakner urged those who can do so to help the elderly or people physically unable to shovel out parking spots or driveways.

"Be neighborly," he said.

Meanwhile, workers from the City of Hagerstown's Public Works Department will remove snow from municipal parking lots today and from downtown streets during the evening today and Friday, according to city spokeswoman Karen Giffin.

A schedule will be announced today, she said.

Residents will be able to park free overnight until 9 a.m. today and Friday at metered lots and the North Potomac Street Parking Deck, she said.

Wednesday's sunny skies and 30 degree temperatures helped workers in the task of clearing the streets of snow.

Hagerstown's main streets were mostly clear Wednesday afternoon, Bakner said. Only a few minor accidents were reported to Hagerstown City Police, the Washington County Sheriff's Department and Maryland State Police.

Bakner said some side roads remained snow-covered with icy patches.

Roads throughout Washington County were clear in most areas, said Ted Wolford, superintendent of the Washington County Highway Department.

"Were in good shape. The sun's come out and it's going to finish the job," Wolford said.

State Police told the same story about Washington County's highways.

"Everything's running like clockwork," said Sgt. Louis Mastiano.

Officials with the Maryland State Highway Administration said some snow plows would remain on the highways indefinitely to take care of patches of ice and snow.

The Washington County Cold Weather Shelter at 148 W. Franklin St., in Hagerstown has seen more homeless people this month that usual, said Terri L. Baker, director of REACH, Inc. which runs the shelter.

The shelter generally averages 30 people a night, but has cared for 45 people in each of the last few days.

The increase has depleted the shelter's food and fuel supplies, she said.

Donations of money, fuel, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, cleaning supplies and paper supplies are welcome, she said.

Volunteers also are needed, she said.

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