Several Trenton residents complained they were not adequately notified of a recent snow emergency, but a city ordinance states a snow emergency automatically goes into effect after the city receives four or more inches of snow, according to Trenton Police Chief Jim Nardone.
Residents must remove vehicles from the roadway during a snow emergency to allow snowplows access to all city streets or residents could receive a $120 ticket. Patch readers said they were unaware of a snow emergency that resulted in three residents being ticketed for parking in the street.
"If there are four inches of snow, the residents need to remove their car or vehicles from the roadway," Nardone said. "It's (the snow emergency ordinance) been in effect in the City of Trenton for 30-plus years."
Nardone said residents should keep an eye on the weather report. If sources are calling for at least four inches of snow, residents should remove their vehicles from the roadway to avoid being ticketed.
The Trenton Police Department notified several news sources of the snow emergency at about 10:30 p.m. Dec. 26. By 11 p.m. all local television news channels including 2, 4 and 7 and radio station WWJ Newsradio 950 were notified of the snow emergency, according to Nardone.
Patch readers suggested the city use different means of notifying residents of a snow emergency including using tornado sirens and a pre-recorded phone call to all residences. Nardone said the ordinance makes the two previous means of notifying residents unnecessary.
Residents who are out of town should not park in the roadway, according to Nardone.
"You can't leave your car in the street for more than 48-hours," Nardone said. "It's a violation."
While no cars were towed after last week's snowfall, Nardone said the department would rather not tow any vehicle, if possible.
"However, we have to make the roadways clear for the plows to pass," Nardone said.
Trenton police officers typically attempt to contact the owner of a vehicle parked in the street before writing up a ticket, according to Sgt. Bradley Petraska.
Nardone said his department has received calls from residents on both sides of the issue. He said he's received calls from residents who wish Trenton police officers were more aggressive in enforcing the snow emergency ordinance--by writing more tickets and towing more vehicles--and calls from residents that feel officers should be more lenient.
"If we expect four or more inches of snow the most appropriate action would be to remove your vehicle from the roadway," Nardone said.