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Overnight Parkingcoming to Summit

By kerryk |

By Kerry Kohring
SNA board member

The city is unilaterally instituting overnight on-street parking throughoutthe city without the approval of residents or their elected representatives,the City Council.

According to the city’s web site, what began last year on the West End as a“pilot overnight parking program” will be expanded to all other parts of thecity “through the spring and summer, neighborhood by neighborhood.” There is nospecific timetable as yet for implementation in the Summit neighborhood, butwhen it comes, this is what will happen.


A window sticker will be provided, and must be applied to the upper lefthand corner of the rear window. Once the permit sticker is applied, residentscan park overnight in a legal spot on a street designated by street signs as an‘overnight parking’ street. Street signs will read, NO PARKING 2:00 AM TO 5:00AM EXCEPT BY RESIDENT PERMIT,” the web site says.

This means that any vehicle with a sticker may park overnight anywhere on adesignated street anywhere in the city without regard to the wishes of thepeople who live on that street. There is no indication as to how the city chosewhich streets are to be included, but there is an “opt-out” provision thatrequires signatures from two thirds of the residents on that street declaringthey choose to not participate. Anyone seeking to exempt a street will beresponsible for collecting the signatures of two thirds of the residents of theentire street, not just a block or two.

A color-coded map of the streets of Summit and their classification as to noparking, parking on one side and parking on both sides.

Parking District 8: Summit
[Click image for PDF map]

The permits are $100 per year, with a limit of two permits perhousehold/unit. Buildings with six units or more will not be eligible for theprogram unless they can demonstrate a significant hardship (lack of off-streetparking). Under these rules, any building that does not now have adequateoff-street space will be allowed to park two vehicles per unit on any streetsimply by declaring that it doesn¹t have room to accommodate them.

Further, the web site declares, the program will provide an economic boostto property owners and realtors who historically have difficulty findingtenants when they don’t have a driveway or parking lot to offer. This impliesthat landlords who are now limited as to the number of units in a rentalproperty will be able to cram more into a building by putting two cars per uniton the street.

In addition, there will be $25 guest passes that will allow an additionalcar per household unit to be parked on the street, up to five times permonth.  The current practice of calling the police to request that anovernight guest not be ticketed will no longer be allowed.

The resident must be a part of the overnight parking program in order tohave an overnight guest. To obtain the overall permit, residents will berequired to go to Providence Municipal Court at the Public Safety Complex, 325Washington St., with a valid, original Rhode Island registration that shows theaddress of a street in the pilot parking area.² Any outstanding tickets on thevehicle registration must be paid and residents will be required to provide avalid email and/or cell phone number that the city will use to provide parkerswith information about parking bans during snow storm and other weather events.

Holders of the permits will be advised whenever a snow emergency or otherparking ban is declared, and will be responsible for removing their cars fromthe street for the duration of the ban. Vehicles parked on a designated streetfrom 2-5 a.m. during a parking ban are subject to a $20 citation.

The city’s web site declares that the program, supported by Mayor AngelTaveras, will provide an economic boost, improve the quality of life for manywho live in the city and make Providence a greener city. It doesn’t address howbringing more cars onto city streets will make Providence greener.

The web site announcement also doesn’t allow for citizen input in thedecision-making process. It states only that “The city’s Parking Administratorwill conduct a series of information sessions in affected neighborhoods (to)explain expansion of overnight parking and answer any questions.” TheProvidence City Council, openly divided on the plan, has declined to endorseit.

The Summit Neighborhood Association Board of Directors, at its meeting April23, voted to poll neighborhood residents as to the desirability of lifting thelong-standing overnight-parking ban and the provision of setting only an“opt-out” procedure.  Complete results of the poll are not in yet, butwill be published here.

The board also directed its president to convey to the mayor and otherneighborhood organizations three points: That the SNA board disapproves ofbypassing the City Council on expanding the “pilot project” of lifting the bancity wide; that the board supports transparency in the decision process; and thatthe board demands a public voice in that process.


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