With abandoned cars strewn on roadsides and left behind in NJ Transit parking lots, South Orange police will not enforce overnight parking restrictions in the town.
Maplewood is asking those whose cars “become inoperable” to call “the Maplewood Police at 973-762-1234 or 911 for immediate assistance. DPW crews will be plowing throughout the night to ensure roads are cleared along with public sidewalks.”
When asked if Maplewood police will be ticketing abandoned cars, Maplewood Mayor Vic DeLuca replied, “No. We do need to have cars off emergency routes and major roads and the police will work with car owners to do that.”
Starting around 2:30 p.m. onward, social media became flooded with tales of local residents abandoning cars and walking home after their vehicles slid down hills rather than climbing them (one local resident abandoned her minivan, walked him to get her husband’s four-wheel drive, then later needed to abandon it as well).
Maplewood put out a notice that restrictions WOULD be enforced: “There shall be no overnight parking permissions granted. Vehicles need to be removed from roadways to allow for snow clearing operations. The safety of our community always comes first. Please report emergencies, suspicious persons or activity to police by calling 911. Please report power outages, tree limbs or downed wires by calling 973-762-1234.”
Later Maplewood Township updated the notice to read:
A state of emergency has been declared for Essex County.
To ensure public safety and that snow plows can get through, please do not park your cars on the street overnight or along any snow emergency routes (i.e. county or main roads). If your car becomes inoperable, please contact the Maplewood Police at 973-762-1234 or 911 for immediate assistance. DPW crews will be plowing throughout the night to ensure roads are cleared along with public sidewalks.
As of this evening, the jitneys are scheduled to run tomorrow. In addition, the Board of Education has reported delayed openings for Friday morning.
Meanwhile South Orange Village President Sheena Collum posted:
Neighbors – so this doesn’t get lost in threads, I was tagged by a resident regarding enforcement of cars being parked on our roads. I have notified Departments NOT to enforce overnight parking restrictions. Our primary objective is YOUR SAFETY and certainly not towing and revenue. The following was posted to the Village’s website. Please stay safe.
“In recognition that many residents have had to abandon their cars in order to get home safely, the Village will not be enforcing overnight parking restrictions on local roads. Our primary objective is safety and we want residents to stay home. Please have cars removed by 10am tomorrow morning (11/16/18).”