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Local Officials Echo Assemblywoman’s Sentiments

Assemblywoman Connie Wagner today called on the Borough of Elmwood Park to waive or refund any fees paid for the rash of parking tickets issued yesterday to snowbound cars that were ticketed due to street-cleaning rules.

According to reports in the Record of Bergen, as many as 50 cars parked along Elmwood Terrace were hit with $50 tickets the day after the blizzard left many nearly snow covered and unable to get out.

“This is about common sense and compassion,” said Wagner (D-Bergen). “Residents were ordered to stay home during the state of emergency and then snow plows nearly impounded many of these vehicles. For the elderly and the infirmed, digging them out is a near impossibility just one day after the storm stopped.”

“While I understand that the town needs to try and continue plowing operations, a bit of common sense needs to be employed. Most people would assume street cleaning rules will obviously not be in effect when the streets are covered with more than two feet of snow. Mayor Mola and Borough officials should work to waive the ticket fine or refund any payments they receive. At the very least, future ticket writing should be suspended until the major effects of the storm have subsided and residents have a chance to shovel their cars out,” added Wagner.

Elmwood Park Councilman Frank Caramagna echoed Wagner’s sentiments, adding, “People have called me to say how unfair this is. I feel the council should have, at the very least, given residents more time to move their cars. I received one call from a former student of mine who said she is in college and only works part-time, so it will take her quite a while to earn $50 to pay for this ticket.”

In calling for the waiving or suspension of future tickets, Wagner pointed to examples of other neighboring cities with similar parking rules, such as Lodi where ticket writing has been suspended for a week and New York City where alternate side of the street parking rules and accompanying tickets are still suspended.

“In the holiday spirit, we decided to give people an extra week to shovel out. It’s the right thing to do during such severe weather incidents,” said Councilman Marc Schrieks of Lodi.