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City to collect items used to hold parking spaces

January 31, 2000|By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

Hagerstown residents who place items such as chairs and trash cans on streets to save parking spots should be prepared to lose them, according to Hagerstown City Police.

Saving spots in the city by such means is illegal and city maintenance workers will be collecting the items, said Officer Shane Blakenship. A date hasn't been set for the collection, said Bruce Zimmerman, Hagerstown city administrator.

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Blakenship said items placed in parking spaces on a public street will be considered abandoned property and confiscated. They will later be auctioned off as in previous years, he said.

Police said they have been inundated with calls from residents complaining about saved spaces, so they wanted to remind residents that it is prohibited.

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"Even though they may have cleared out a parking space of snow, they are not permitted to place trash cans, chairs or any type of barriers in these spaces for the purpose of saving them for their personal use," Capt. Robert Hart said Friday.

The spaces are available to anyone, he said.

Hagerstown's parking complaints began last week when a nor'easter, not predicted by most forecasters, dumped 13.5 inches of snow on the city.

Cold temperatures and repeated passes by snowplows compacted the precipitation, making it heavy and difficult to shovel.

A second nor'easter Sunday caused further parking problems. Six inches had fallen on Hagerstown by late afternoon, police said.

Hagerstown maintenance workers hauled snow last week from select city streets and motorists were allowed to temporarily park free at the North Potomac Street Parking Deck.

The collected snow was then dumped at the fairgrounds or other areas in the city, said Zimmerman.

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