Alert: On-street nighttime parking can get you a ticket

By Carol Britton Meyer, March 2, 2019

Drivers, beware! Since 1939 the Town of Hingham has banned parking any vehicle on any street for longer than one hour between 1 and 6 a.m. except during an emergency.

“The Hingham Police Department has always enforced the overnight parking rules particularly from November 1 to April 30 due to the possibility of snow during the winter months,” Police Chief Glenn Olsson said. “Parked vehicles cause snow removal problems because plows cannot properly clear the streets.”

Over the past several years, town boards and the Police Department have worked diligently to solve some of the overall long-term parking issues facing the town, including those occurring at Hingham High School, World’s End Reservation, side roads with access to Wompatuck State Park,  new developments (parking control), and downtown Hingham, according to the Chief.

“We have also worked closely with the boards and Highway Department to make our roads safer and have made progress in improving the infrastructure and creating parking rules in the interest of safety,” Olsson said. “While consistent in our efforts to enforce them, we can educate and educate,  but this effort often falls short. People listen when money — fines — [are involved].”

Between Jan. 1 and March 1 of this year, motorists have been cited for a number of parking-related violations:

* Impeding snow removal, 56 incidents, for a total of  $1,400 in fines;

* All-night parking, 16 occurrences, with fines totaling $400;

* Wrong direction, four incidents, with a total of $100 in fines.

The grand total of incidents was 76, with $1,900 in fines issued in all.

Parking complaints are a common problem, from ignoring posted time limits and parking in no-parking areas to violations related to handicapped-parking spaces, loading zones, and fire lanes. “Far too often officers hear from violators comments such as, ‘I was parking there for only a couple of minutes; I was in a hurry,'” Olsson said.

Parking rules of all kinds are designed to protect pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists alike, Olsson said, noting that many safety improvements are implemented as the result of neighborhood residents identifying dangerous areas that are then reviewed by the Traffic Committee and changes made with the Selectmen’s approval.

“We will continue to work on improving conditions and safety on Hingham roads through education, design, and enforcement,” Olsson said. That includes issuing parking tickets.

With regard to a related issue, during the winter months, the DPW reminds residents that blowing or shoveling snow onto a public roadway is not allowed and strongly recommends that drivers and pedestrians stay off the road during heavy snowstorms or other severe weather events for safety reasons if at all possible.

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