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RED BANK: SNOW TOSSERS TO FACE TICKETS

rb-snowstorm-010314-23-500x375-8349456How it’s done: a snowblower pointed away from Broad Street during a storm in January, 2014. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot-topic_03-220x138-9108919You know who they are: the folks who shovel snow from their property into the street after plows have been through. Hey, maybe you’ve done it yourself.

Red Bank officials say it’s a costly pain in the neck, and plan to make it a violation enforced with “zero tolerance.”

Under an ordinance amendment slated for introduction Wednesday night, the existing streets and sidewalks law  would have this wording added:

When removing snow, slush, or ice from any driveway, parking area, sidewalk area, or any portion of privately-owned property, it shall be unlawful for the owner, occupant, tenant, building superintendent, contractor, rental agent or person in charge of such property to cause the depositing of snow, slush, or ice upon any street, sidewalk, or other public thoroughfare.

The law already requires that sidewalks be shoveled or de-iced within 24 hours of a snowfall or freeze.

Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said at a recent council workshop meeting that snow thrown into streets, especially after the streets have been plowed, “just makes for a dangerous condition,” and “also makes the job of the DPW much more difficult.”

Public utilities director Cliff Keen said that, after perhaps 24 hours of plowing, many of the department’s workers may no longer be on duty and available to replow streets, which may be blocked by vehicles.

The new language would add clarity to what Keen said is “vague” in the existing ordinance, a provision he saids the code enforcement department already issues warnings about. “But we’ve had a couple of repeat” offenders, he said in arguing for the amendment.

Shehady advocated for a “zero tolerance” approach to the law, which he said is on the books in other municipalities. If police see anyone plowing or shoveling snow into the street, “they’ve got to give them a ticket,” he said.

Red Bankers got a taste of zero tolerance last year, when record numbers of tickets issued for violation of a 2017 law change requiring that vehicles be moved off all borough streets during and immediately after snowstorms to allow for plowing.

Here’s the full agenda. The council meets at 6:30 p.m. at borough hall, 90 Monmouth Street.

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