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Oswego returns to overnight winter parking ban

Gino Geruntino
WRVO News File Photo

In his first executive action, Oswego Mayor William Barlow restored the winter parking ban on city streets and highways from 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. It's a reversal from the contentious policy last year of alternate side parking, which former Mayor Thomas Gillen implemented.

The ban is effective immediately, pending approval from the Oswego Common Council's traffic committee, which Barlow said is "very, very likely."

The late action on the rules for winter parking in the city drew condemnation from some residents. John Clark said action from the city this late in the season represented mismanagement.

"Now after all of this problem that took place last winter, we’re talking about it after the first of the year – a full month after the parking ban used to go into effect," Clark said.

Clark chastised Barlow for banning the overnight parking instead of seeking other "creative" ideas, which is something Clark said the mayor had promised he would do while on the campaign trail earlier last year. However, during the only debate between the mayoral candidates in October, Barlow said he opposed the alternate side parking program and favored returning to the ban.

Some members on the Common Council also are opposed to the ban. In a unanimous vote Monday night, the council approved a resolution for a public hearing on the matter for Monday, Jan. 25 at 7:10 p.m. at Oswego City Hall. Councilor Shawn Walker said he would like to see a different avenue taken.

"Kicking people right out of the road, I don't know if I agree with it," Walker said. "There are a lot of places that do not have parking. We have to come to some agreement." 

Barlow said the city would arrange for municipal lots for residents who do not have access to a driveway at no charge because of the ban is taking place so late in the season. His executive order instituting the ban stands until the Common Council reaches a decision.

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.