[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the City of Hagerstown 11-4-1974. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Snow Emergency Ordinance of the City of Hagerstown."
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- The Chief of Police and/or Manager, Public Ways and Recreation,
as designated by the Mayor and Council, or, in their absence, their
duly designated and acting representative.[Amended 1-11-1983]
- That portion of a street or highway improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the berm or shoulder.
- Any streets which are not marked as snow emergency routes.
- SNOW EMERGENCY ROUTES
- Those streets marked as such in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
- SNOW TIRES
- Those tires in a good state of repair which are normally designed by the manufacturer as snow tires or such tires as may be approved by the Commissioner of Motor Vehicles of the State of Maryland as meeting the standards of effectiveness required of normally designated snow tires or tires which have anti-skid patterns cut into the treaded surface to form bars, buttons or blocks especially designed to give effective traction on snow- or ice-covered streets and highways.
- STREET or HIGHWAY
- The entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel.
- TIRE CHAINS
- Any metal chains mounted on drive-wheel tires of motor vehicles, which cross the tread of each such tire laterally in at least three different places.
Whenever the Director finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain or on the basis of a forecast by the United States Weather Bureau of snow, sleet or freezing rain, that weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited for chemical spreading purposes, for snowplowing and for other purposes, the Director shall put into effect a snow emergency declaration in accordance with § 207-7. In addition thereto, but not in derogation thereof, when it is determined by the State of Maryland that a snow emergency exists in Washington County or the City of Hagerstown, the snow emergency program and provisions of this chapter shall automatically become effective. In either event, the snow emergency plan shall remain in full force and effect and the provisions of this chapter shall be applicable until the Director determines that said plan is no longer necessary and so declares.
Whenever the Director finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain or on the basis of a forecast by the United States Weather Bureau of snow, sleet or freezing rain, that weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited and that parking on City streets be prohibited or restricted for snowplowing and other purposes, the Director shall put into effect a parking prohibition on parts of or all snow emergency routes as necessary by declaring it in a manner prescribed in this chapter.
Once in effect, a prohibition under this section shall remain in effect until terminated by an announcement of the Director in accordance with this chapter. While the prohibition is in effect, no person shall park or allow to remain parked any vehicle on any portion of a snow emergency route to which it applies. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit parking at any time or place where it is forbidden by any other provision of law.
Whenever the Director finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain or on the basis of a forecast by the United States Weather Bureau of snow, sleet or freezing rain, that the weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited and that parking on City streets be prohibited or restricted for snowplowing and other purposes, the Director shall put into effect a parking prohibition on parts of or all secondary streets by this chapter. The prohibition shall remain in effect until terminated by an announcement of the Director in accordance with this chapter.
Whenever the Director finds, on the basis of falling snow, sleet or freezing rain or on the basis of a forecast by the United States Weather Bureau of snow, sleet or freezing rain, that weather conditions will make it necessary that motor vehicle traffic be expedited, and whenever he finds additionally that large numbers of employees within the City are to be dismissed from duty in advance of their normal quitting time because of weather conditions and that such dismissal will advance the beginning of heavy quitting-time traffic, he shall, by making a declaration in a manner prescribed by this chapter, appropriately advance the effective time of those traffic regulations which normally go into effect just before quitting time for the working day, such as, for example (and not by way of limitation), those relating to standing, parking, one-way streets, unbalanced lanes and left turns. The regulations as so advanced in their operation shall remain in effect until their normal termination or otherwise, as may be indicated at specific locations. However, nothing in this section shall be construed to permit parking at any time or place where it is forbidden by any other section of this chapter.
No person operating a motor vehicle on a snow emergency route on which there is a covering of snow, sleet or ice shall allow such vehicle to become stalled wholly or partly because the drive wheels thereof are not equipped with effective tire chains or snow tires.
Whenever a vehicle becomes stalled for any reason, whether or not in violation of this chapter, on any part of a snow emergency route on which there is a covering of snow, sleet or ice or on which there is parking prohibition in effect, the person operating such vehicle shall take immediate action to have the vehicle towed or pushed off the roadway of such snow emergency route or onto the public space portion of a nearby driveway. No person shall abandon or leave his vehicle unattended in the roadway of a snow emergency route, except for the purpose of securing assistance within a reasonable time.
The Director shall cause each declaration made by him pursuant to this chapter to be publicly announced by means of broadcasts or telecasts from stations with a normal operating range covering the City, and he may cause such declaration to be further announced in newspapers of general circulation when feasible. Each announcement shall describe the action taken by the Director, including the time it became or will become effective, and shall specify the streets or areas affected. A parking prohibition or advancement of quitting-time traffic regulations declared by the Director shall not go into effect until at least two hours after it has been announced.
The Director shall make or cause to be made a record of each time and date when any declaration is announced to the public in accordance with this section.
Whenever the Director shall find that some or all of the conditions which give rise to a parking prohibition in effect pursuant to this chapter no longer exist, he may declare the prohibition terminated in whole or in part, in a manner prescribed by this chapter, effective immediately upon announcement.
Any provision of this chapter which becomes effective by a declaration of the Director or upon the occurrence of certain weather conditions shall, while temporarily in effect, take precedence over other conflicting provisions of law normally in effect, except that it shall not take precedence over provisions of law relating to traffic accidents, emergency travel of authorized emergency vehicles or emergency traffic directions by a police officer, nor shall it take precedence over provisions of the Code of Public General Laws of the State of Maryland, where applicable.
On each street designated by this chapter as a snow emergency route, the Director shall post special signs at intervals not exceeding 300 feet with the wording: "Snow Emergency Route. No Parking During Emergency. Tow Away Zone." These signs shall be distinctive and uniform in appearance and shall be plainly readable to persons traveling on the street or highway.
Members of the Police Department are hereby authorized to remove or have removed a vehicle from a street to the nearest garage or other place of safety, including another place on a street, or to a garage designated or maintained by the Police Department or otherwise maintained by this City, when:
The vehicle is parked on a part of a snow emergency route on which a parking prohibition is in effect.
The vehicle is stalled on a part of a snow emergency route on which there is a covering of snow, sleet or ice or on which there is a parking prohibition in effect and the person who was operating such vehicle does not appear to be removing it in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
The vehicle is parked in violation of any parking ordinance or provision of law and is interfering or about to interfere with snow removal operations.
Whenever an officer removes or has removed a vehicle from a street as authorized in this section and the officer knows or is able to ascertain from the registration records in the vehicle the name and address of the owner thereof, such officer shall immediately give or cause to be given notice, in writing, within 24 hours to such owner of the fact of such removal and the reasons therefor and of the place to which such vehicle has been removed. In the event that any such vehicle is stored in a public garage, a copy of such notice shall be given to the proprietor of such garage.
No person shall recover any vehicle removed in accordance with this section except as provided herein. Before the owner or person in charge of such vehicle shall be allowed to recover it from the place where it has been placed or impounded, he shall present to a member of the Police Department evidence of his identity and right to possession of the vehicle, shall sign a receipt for its return, shall pay the cost of removal and shall pay any cost of storage accrued.
It shall be duty of the Police Department to keep a record of each vehicle removed in accordance with this section. The record shall include a description of the vehicle, its license number, the date and time of its removal, where it was removed from, its location, the name and address of its owner and last operator, if known, its final disposition and the parking violation, if any.
This section shall be supplemental to any other provisions of law granting members of the Police Department the authority to remove vehicles.
Whenever any motor vehicle without a driver is found parked or left in violation of any provision of this chapter, the officer finding such vehicle shall take its registration number and any other information displayed on the vehicle which may identify its user and shall conspicuously affix to such vehicle a traffic citation, on a form provided by the Police Department, for the driver to answer to the charge against him within 14 days during the hours and at a place specified in the citation.
In any prosecution with regard to a vehicle parked or left in a place or in a condition in violation of any provision of this chapter, proof that the particular vehicle described in the complaint was parked or left in violation of a provision of this chapter, together with proof that the defendant named in the complaint was at the time the registered owner of such vehicle, shall constitute prima facie evidence that the defendant was the person who parked or left the vehicle in violation of this chapter. Said presumption shall be rebuttable.
The following streets or portions of streets within the City are hereby designated as snow emergency routes:
[Amended 12-6-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-37]
U.S. Route 40:
Westbound, which includes the Dual Highway from Colonial Drive to Franklin Street, Franklin Street west to the City limits.
Eastbound, which includes Washington Avenue from the City limits near I-81, Washington Street from Washington Avenue to the Dual Highway and the Dual Highway to Colonial Drive.
U.S. Route 11, which includes Virginia Avenue to South Burhans Boulevard, to North Burhans Boulevard, to Pennsylvania Avenue, to the City limits.
Virginia Avenue from South Burhans Boulevard to Park Circle.
All of North and South Potomac Streets and Potomac Avenue.
Locust Street, north and south from Locust Point to Fairground Avenue.
Fairground Avenue from Locust Street to Potomac Avenue.
East and West Wilson Boulevard, from Summit Avenue to Frederick Street.
East and West Memorial Boulevard, from Park Circle to Eastern Boulevard.
Frederick Street, from the City line to Eastern Boulevard.
Northern Avenue, from Pennsylvania Avenue to Potomac Avenue.
All of Eastern Boulevard within the City limits.
Every person convicted of a violation of any provision of this chapter shall be punished by a fine of $10, in addition to the other costs provided herein.