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No Major Problems Reported in Peabody's First Use of New Parking Ban

Police say they only towed 15 cars to allow snow plows to clear city streets during the duration of the parking ban this past weekend.

Peabody's inaugural test of the new emergency parking ban came with relative success, according to city officials.

Police Chief Robert Champagne tells the Salem News that only 15 cars were towed in the downtown area at the request of the Department of Public Services to allow plow crews to clear the streets.

Several more residents were either ticketed or given further warnings to move their cars off the street or else.

Both the mayor's office and city councilor Barry Osborne, who championed the switch from the annual winter parking ban to a temporary ban for when it actually snows, told the Salem News they did not receive many complaints over the weekend.

The snow emergency was declared by DPS late Saturday morning in anticipation of at least 2 inches of snow.

The Police Department issued a notice to the public via Nixle, Facebook and Twitter shortly after 11 a.m. -- a technical issue, however, delayed the message from being broadcast on 1640 AM radio station even though the blue lights themselves were activated.

Earlier in December, police officers also started placing yellow notification slips on the windshields of cars parked in the street as a reminder of the new rules. Additional slips were placed on cars as a warning once the ban was announced on Saturday.

Between Main, Foster and Washington streets, alone, police distributed nearly 100 warnings early that afternoon.

According to entries in the police log over this past weekend, plow crews downtown were faced with numerous cars still parked on the street, impeding their work, after the ban was in place, but generally with help from police were able to have those residents move elsewhere without resorting to towing.

In some instances, DPS requested officers assist with clearing streets downtown by utilizing their cruiser's loudspeakers to give residents one final warning.

At one point Sunday morning, police did issue 10 tickets for cars parked on Aborn and Shillaber streets.

The ban was then lifted at 1:45 p.m. on Sunday. Public notice went out again from the Police Department at that time to alert residents.

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