– By Joseph Domelowicz
Winthrop Police Chief Terence Delehanty said this week that the number of cars being tagged and towed for violating the town wide parking ban this winter is down significantly from past years.
“It hasn’t really been that bad,” said Chief Delehanty. “Compliance has been a lot better and I think that has to do with a number of factors. For one thing, we’ve changed our approach and we’re notifying people sooner, putting the blue lights on at intersections and letting people know that there will be a parking ban.”
Delehanty said that he also thinks the amount of snow and frequency of the storms has contributed to a greater general awareness of the parking ban than in past years, as residents “haven’t had a chance to relax and get back into their routines, they’re more cautious about where their cars are.”
He also noted that the increase in compliance has been appreciated by the officers whose job it would be to write tickets and call for tow trucks for offenders.
“It’s not a part of the job that police officers like to do, but it is a public safety need, so I know they appreciate the increased compliance, because it makes it easier for them,” he said.
Public Works Director Dave Hickey estimated that police have only been forced to ticket and town an average of about 20 cars per storm this winter, which would put the number on the low side of a normal big storm event in town.
“Again, I think it has to do with the fact that we’ve changed our approach, we’re putting that light on earlier in the day, so that people coming home from work know that the ban will be in effect after 10 p.m. and that makes it easier for them to comply as well,” said Delehanty.