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      Cities issue parking reminders for winter weather

      In anticipation of the major winter storm expected Wednesday night into Thursday, at least three Central New York cities have issued parking advisories in an effort to keep cars off of the streets and make room for plows.

      In the City of Syracuse, the police department has issued a parking reminder to all city residents, saying "Residents are encouraged to use off street parking if available, and to follow all regulations, especially odd/even parking regulations if parking on the street. Illegally parked vehicles that are hindering snow removal operations may be ticketed and towed if necessary."

      In Oswego, Mayor Thomas Gillen is reminding residents of the new winter parking restrictions which were approved by the city council just last month. According to Gillen, the new ordinance states:

      "The Mayor, at his discretion, may impose an alternate side parking restriction commencing on or after December 1 and continuing through March 31. The Mayor may, however, begin the alternate side parking restriction prior to December 1 at his discretion based on weather conditions. The Mayor may also suspend or remove the alternate side parking restriction prior to March 31 at his discretion if weather conditions require or permit. During such time as the alternate side parking restriction is imposed, the parking of any vehicle on any city street or highway from 1:00am to 6:00am on an even numbered side of the street on an odd calendar day, or on an odd numbered side of the street on an even calendar day, shall be prohibited. This is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any other permanent parking restriction that may apply."

      Gillen says he is utilizing this new law to imposing the alternate side parking restrictions in the city, starting at 1:00 a.m. Thursday morning until further notice.

      Gillen says Oswego Police will issue â??courtesy noticesâ?? for the first several nights of the restrictions, instead of tickets. He says following this grace period any vehicle found to be violating the new parking ordinance will be subject to a $50 fine and $75 towing fee.

      In Utica, the city has declared a snow emergency and ordered all parked vehicles to be off city streets by 10:00 p.m. Wednesday.

      Utica Police say cars left on the the streets after the 10:00 p.m. deadline may be given tickets or even towed - at the owner's expense. Police say there will be "no exceptions" to this policy.