Despite the amount of energy that has been focused on shifting design and culture in New Paltz away from a dependence on automobiles, the transition is not yet complete, and some residential portions of the community are jam-packed with cars. In many cases, the owners of residential buildings are not obligated to provide for sufficient vehicle storage on private property. As a result, a considerable number of these vehicles are stored along the edges of Village streets using a practice called “parking” — a practice that becomes illegal during and immediately after snowstorms. When a car isn’t moved out of the way of plow trucks, the owner may get a parking ticket and the car could be towed.
Village officials are trying to sew up the holes in the fabric of local vehicle storage customs, by making a lot of Village property off of Huguenot Street available for snowstorm vehicle storage. The lot currently includes 29 spaces that are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Just a few hundred feet from the lower edge of the downtown business district, this is land that Mayor Tim Rogers would like to see used more often in this manner. It can be used free of charge, and the promise is that it will be plowed last. Vehicle owners should retrieve their conveyances within 24 hours of a storm’s conclusion, which should be enough time for public works employees to move snow off of the motorized portions of the roads and onto the sidewalks and shoulders. Private property owners are responsible for removing snow from the sidewalk, that portion of the road that is reserved for pedestrians.