As the annual Keene Parking Ban blankets Keene’s streets for the winter months, students who typically park on the street or in various parking lots at night need to know the regulations.
The basic guideline for the parking ban, according to the Parking Operations Manager Ginger Hill, is that from 1 a.m. until 6 a.m., no one is allowed to park on any city street. The ban is in effect from Nov. 1 through May 1, Hill added. The parking lots downtown are also on a rotating schedule.
“Depending on what night it is depends on which lots you can park in,” Hill said. “Each lot has a sign that says what night is permissible in that lot.”
Hill said that students looking for more information can visit the Keene Police Department’s website, or stop in at the station and pick up a Downtown Parking Regulations sheet. She added that there are lots you cannot park in after midnight, not 1 a.m.
“Probably a week before the parking ban went into effect, they [police officers] were putting notices on peoples’ cars that were parked on the street,” Hill added.
If students experience a problem with this ban, Hill advised that students speak with the officer who issued the ticket.
“Let them know what was going on and then it would be up to them if they want to take it back,” Hill said. “If that doesn’t work, and you still feel strongly about the ticket, you can appeal it.”
The fine for parking on the street or in the wrong lot is $15 no matter how long an individual parked there.
“You could also get towed depending on what’s going on,” Hill added. “If Public Works needs to clear that area because of snow removal or whatever they have going on, you could possibly get the $15 ticket and towed.”
As far as other city’s regulations, Hill said she would imagine in New England it is very common because of all the snow in the region.
“Manchester, Nashua and Concord [N.H.], they must all have parking bans, what they are, I don’t dare say,” Hill said.
For an off-campus student with a car, KSC junior Sarah Allen said she has never had any problems with it and thinks it’s reasonable.
“Most people are not out between 1 a.m. and 6 a.m.,” Allen said. “I mean some people have jobs early in the morning but the fact that it’s at night from such early hours, I think it’s fine.”
From a student’s perspective, Allen said the only problem she sees coming from this is students not knowing about it.
“Probably people who don’t know about it are unaware of it, because I was unaware of it,” Allen said. “So I think problems would arise if people don’t know about it and get fined or ticketed.”
Allen said that more advertising about the ban to students could prevent future problems arising, the main issue being if a student parks on the street overnight and receives a ticket, and didn’t even know about the parking ban.
Another off-campus driver, senior Emily Gurley, said she doesn’t agree with it, but she knows people have to plow.
“I think it should be somewhat changed because it’s a pain when you have people [visiting] that are not from Keene; trying to find parking is hard,” Gurley said. “I think certain parking lots should be open if you have people visiting.”
Gurley said she thinks a lot of problems that students have with the parking ban results from parking issues with landlords and their property. She said she has a lot of friends whose landlords’ [properties] do not have enough space for all of the tenants’ cars.
“The people who live across the street, they keep having their guests park on our side of the road,” Gurley said. “So we keep getting knocks on our door from the parking enforcement, and I just say, ‘It’s [theirw car] not mine.’”
When Gurley or her roommates have guests, she said they usually have the people who live there put their cars in the driveway, and the rest park in the other. To avoid moving cars onto the road, Gurley said her landlord recently told her that their house of tenants can park in the driveway of the house he’s working on.
For parking regulation information, students can go to the KPD station at 400 Marlboro Street, or visit their website at www.ci.keene.nh.us/departments/police.
Lindsey Arceci can be contacted at email@example.com.