Mayor Ted Bettencourt is hoping to clear up some confusion on the city's new notification system for the new emergency parking ban.
When the blue lights go on, it doesn't necessarily mean city plows will be out clearing the roads -- that depends on the severity of the storm -- but it does mean a serious weather event is likely headed toward Peabody and the city needs to be ready for the worst.
That could be anything from snow to floods to hurricanes and tornadoes.
Bettencourt, who said he's received a number of calls and complaints on the new ordinance, would rather "err on the side of caution."
After all, any New Englander can testify to the unpredictability of the weather and many a storm forecast.
A number of irate readers have also lodged there complaints here with Peabody Patch during the past few storms, perplexed at the ban with less than 2 inches of snow forecast and then incensed when plows appeared to be slow in clearing the roads the day of the storm.
Bettencourt said Peabody has been fortunate so far this winter with some of the recent storms just turning into dustings rather than blizzards, but again, the reverse is also possible. He added that city crews also need clear access to treat icy roads as well.
"The intent of the ordinance is to allow for a less restrictive winter parking ban so that residents do not have to secure alternative parking for the winter months, only during the times of an emergency parking ban," said Bettencourt in a press release.
The City Council recently adopted a new ordinance for an emergency ban after doing away with the annual winter parking ban. The primary means of alerting residents to emergency weather is by turning on the blue lights and also sending out notices via Nixle, Facebook, Twitter, Connect Ed etc.
The parking ban is then in effect just until the ban is lifed.