University News

City may allow overnight parking

By
Staff Writer
Friday, September 30, 2011

City officials met last night to review a proposal to overturn Providence’s long-standing overnight parking ban, currently in effect between the hours of 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Officials plan to vote on the issue in upcoming months.

The proposed plan would allow residents to purchase year-long permits for $100 and mandate a maximum of two permits per household. It could also lessen the number of parking tickets issued. According to the proposal, 24 percent of those who received tickets were repeat offenders.

The overnight parking ban would still be in effect on bigger streets. Residential streets would qualify for exemption from the program if 75 percent of the street’s residents with state-registered vehicles signed a petition, according to a presentation at last night’s meeting. Overnight parking would also be denied to residents in dorms and apartment buildings with more than six units.

Few records exist pertaining to the reason for the nearly century-old ban, said Yvonne Graf, manager of policy and research for the Providence City Council. But some civil service organizations, such as the fire department, are proponents of the ban because it keeps roads navigable during nighttime emergencies, she said.

Many students have encountered problems as a result of the ban. “I’m planning on having my friend stay overnight, and I am not sure yet what we will do with her car,” said Allison Schaaff ’14.

Julia Harvey ’14 discovered a way to occasionally work around the program while parking on campus during the summer. Before parking her car overnight, she called the Providence Police Department to ask permission. Though the police were compliant the first time, the second time she called, they told her it would be “up to their discretion” whether or not to ticket her, she said. She chose not to take that risk.

Harvey, who works for the Department of Alumni Relations, added that the ban is not just an issue for students. “Alumni have nowhere to park” during events, she said, adding that many of them are forced to park in University lots, which requires them to wake up at 8 a.m. to move their cars.