Cars blocking GR plows may be impounded

Vehicles blocking Grand Rapids plows may be towed, police say. (Feb. 6, 2014)
Vehicles blocking Grand Rapids plows may be towed, police say. (Feb. 6, 2014)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Grand Rapids police say they are prepared to and have impounded vehicles blocking the path of snow plows.

After watching plows struggle to get around parked cars, many have said the vehicles that have been sitting for days or even weeks on streets already narrowed by snow should be towed. And the city has been moving some.

Officers have been placing orange impound warning stickers on the worst offenders around the city. After being stickered, drivers have 48 hours to move their car. If they don’t, the vehicle will be impounded.

That will cost the affected driver at least $188. If they don’t show up to get the car within 48 hours, they’ll have to pay an additional $29 per day for a storage fee.

Police say they have impounded at least 175 vehicles since November, when the city’s odd/even parking ordnance went into effect. Not all of those impounds were weather-related, but police say the vast majority were.

To put that in perspective, as of Thursday, GRPD had issued more than 10,000 odd/even parking violation citations in that same time period.

“If we deem that we cannot get an ambulance or a fire truck through there, or even a police car, then we may have to impound. Doesn’t mean we do it every time. We also my try to locate the owner if we can get them to move it, if we have to,” GRPD Lt. Mike Maycroft said. “That would be an extreme situation where we would have to impound that vehicle.”

Police say the goal is to get residents to comply with the odd/even parking ordinance and help keep streets plowed.

Kalamazoo said it has only impounded two cars because of weather. Muskegon said it didn’t have a count, but that there were very few. The city credited neighborhood associations cooperating with police to get cars moved.

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