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Street parking causing safety issues, inconveniencing snow plows and residents

Posted at 5:48 PM, Jan 03, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-03 19:48:42-05

BOZEMAN — Amelia Chapdelaine has lived in Bozeman for about four years. She says as the city grows, parking has become an issue. She also says people parking on the streets can be a hassle.

“When they have one or more vehicles and they’re in front of your apartment, people who have to leave at 4 AM have to hike all the way to their car, parked blocks away,” says Chapdelaine.

But it’s not only inconveniencing people like Chapdelaine.

“The cars need to be parked all the way to the edge of the sidewalk or we just can’t get through at all,” says John VanDelinder, the street superintendent for the City of Bozeman.

VanDelinder says when cars line up on the street, it narrows their path. This leaves them no choice but to skip plowing certain streets.

“We just can’t get through there in our large equipment,” says VanDelinder.

When the plows do make it down the streets, parked cars might end up covered, or barricaded by a mound of snow. They may even be towed.

“If cars are there for over 72 hours they’re going to get ticketed,” says VanDelinder.

Brit Fontenot is the director of economic development for the city’s parking services and he says it’s more of a safety issue than just an inconvenience to plow drivers and Bozeman residents.

“We always want to move cars out of intersections, fire hydrants, mailboxes, and driveways,” says Fontenot. “Those are high-priority safety issues.”

VanDelinder says they’ve already had a few plows run into people’s cars this year.

“We don’t want to do that because it takes time from what we’re doing and we don’t want to damage people’s property,” says Vandelinder.

A detailed guide for winter parking, preparation, and safety is available online.