Portland to get decked by snow again: What to do with your car (and other helpful links)

The city of Portland has declared a parking ban once again starting tonight at 10 p.m. and lasting until tomorrow at 6 a.m. It’s the second time in just a few days that the city has ordered vehicles out of streetside parking spaces, and although December is a month long considered a “white” one because of Christmas, it’s technically not winter yet (that season arrives officially on Dec. 21).

Jason Gallant snowshoes to work after a snowstorm in Portland on Sunday. (Reuters photo by Joel Page)

Jason Gallant snowshoes to work after a snowstorm in Portland on Sunday. (Reuters photo by Joel Page)

Just working on memory, here, but I feel like over the last five or six years, we’ve been spared heavy snow until later in the seasonal cycle — like February and March. Any amateur (or professional) meteorologists out there have any information to confirm or deny my impressions on this?

I feel like this is early to be getting throttled by regular snowstorms, at least compared to recent years. And if that means it’s going to be 50 or 60 degrees out next February and March, I’m willing to take my lumps now and get it over with.

Anyway, it’s always a good idea for me to post at least once per snow season the protocol for what to do with your car when a storm rolls in and a parking ban is called. Without further ado, some important tidbits from the city’s parking ban announcement:

  1. Don’t leave your vehicle in on-street parking during a ban. The city will have you towed and give you the bill for the $85 tow fee and the $35 impound fee, then slap you with a $30 ticket on top of those charges and hold onto your car until you’ve paid off all previous outstanding tickets. If your car sits unclaimed in the impound lot for more than 24 hours, you get another $25 each day tacked on for storage, and yet another $25 charge if you ask to pick your car up during off-hours — before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. So if you’re scoring at home, if you leave your car out during a parking ban tonight, then procrastinate on picking up your car until 7:30 p.m. Thursday, the whole ordeal will cost you $200. That’s assuming you’ve paid off any previous parking tickets, of course. Just don’t violate the parking ban.
  2. If you do violate the parking ban, your vehicle will end up first at the city’s impound lot at 40 Commercial St. The phone number there is 774-3025. The added complication if you drag your feet getting your car back out is that at the end of the day following the parking ban, unclaimed vehicles will be towed to private tow company lots. So then you’ve got all kinds of bills to pay AND you’ve got to figure out where your car has been moved. Just don’t violate the parking ban.
  3. The good news is, the city’s got a bunch of places where people can park their vehicles for free during parking bans, starting in this case on 5 p.m. the day of the ban. Although the times may change, for this particular storm, you’re going to have to pick your car back up by 7 a.m. tomorrow. Those free parking places are:
  • Deering Oaks — on the left hand side of Tennis Court Road only
  • State Street gravel lot — abutting Deering Oaks
  • Fitzpatrick Stadium parking lot
  • Hadlock Field parking lot
  • All Portland Public School lots EXCEPT the lots at Reiche School which abut the school and playground and Adult Ed at the former Cathedral lot.
  • Parking lots on Munjoy and Wilson Streets, formerly known as the Adams School
  • Cutter Street lots (off the Eastern Prom)
  • Beach Street lot accessible from Commercial Street.  (Available after 8 p.m.)
  • Lot across the street from the International Marine Terminal on Commercial Street (corner of Park and Commercial Streets)
  • On Peaks Island, parking is available at the Welch Street parking lot and St. Christopher’s Church parking lot on Central Avenue

 

 

It’s perhaps worth noting, as the city does in its parking ban announcement, that many of the parking garages in Portland are open for parking bans at reduced rates. Click here for a list of parking garages, where you might have some more flexibility in terms of when you can drop off your car and when you’ll have to pick it back up again. Call the garages directly for details on hours and reduced rates.

For a complete list of storm cancellations, we’ve got you covered. Click here to see if your school, workplace, event or other program of interest has been canceled or postponed because of the storm — the list will be updated as the storm builds strength and more folks call things off.

And finally, in case you missed it, keep on the lookout for parking ban or snowstorm specials at local Portland businesses. Here’s one to get you started: $5 burritos at El Rayo Taqueria on York Street every time there’s a parking ban. Let me know if you’re aware of other little hidden specials like that out there.

Casey Turner of El Rayo Taqueria in Portland makes a $5 burrito during a snowstorm Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. The mexican eatery offers the $5 burrito special whenever the city calls a parking ban. (BDN photo by Troy R. Bennett)

Casey Turner of El Rayo Taqueria in Portland makes a $5 burrito during a snowstorm Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. The mexican eatery offers the $5 burrito special whenever the city calls a parking ban. (BDN photo by Troy R. Bennett)

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Seth Koenig

About Seth Koenig

Seth has nearly a decade of professional journalism experience and writes about the greater Portland region.