Cars parked on the streets and parking lots in Jamestown slow snow removal efforts in the city, said Rick Lipetzky, city street foreman.
"Especially with the tremendous amount of snow we had," he said. "... we just have to go around them."
Lipetzky said the cars on the streets slowed an already slow process of moving snow.
"With three times as much snow as usual, it makes it five times harder to get the streets cleared," he said.
Jamestown Police Chief Scott Edinger said a city ordinance prohibits cars from being parked in one spot for more than 48 hours when a snow emergency is declared. A snow emergency is triggered when Jamestown receives 4 or more inches of new snow and city crews start plowing.
"A lot of cars are plowed in by that time," Edinger said, referring to the ridges of snow pushed up by the plows and left around vehicles parked on the street.
Jamestown Police Department officers are each assigned a section of Jamestown and are directed to document the cars on the street either by marking tires or making an official record that notes the license plate number and vehicle location. Then, two days later, the officers return to the area and issue $10 parking citations for vehicles still in the same spot.
"When we're short of officers not all areas are getting checked," Edinger said.
Edinger said they also respond to complaints by the public of cars left on the street.
After the citation is issued, officers can return again in 48 hours. Vehicles still in the same location can be impounded and towed at the owner's expense.
That process accounted for most of the 54 parking tickets and the impounding of seven vehicles in December in Jamestown, Edinger said.
Impounded cars that are not claimed by the owner are sold to the highest bidder by the city of Jamestown.
"Sometimes, it is simply a way to get rid of a junk car," Edinger said.
Lipetzky said cars in the parking lots along the railroad tracks adjacent to First Avenue also made clearing those areas difficult.
"Weaving between the cars, it was difficult to get things done," he said.
Jamestown Mayor Dwaine Heinrich told the City Council Monday that consideration might be given to requiring cars in those lots to be parked against the fence along the railroad tracks during snow events.
While all streets in Jamestown are now open, there is still a lot of work for the street crews to do, Lipetzky said.
"We are going through some areas and widening and clearing snow left around cars," he said. "We've still got plenty of work to do."
Edinger said some communities are more proactive in regard to limiting vehicle parking on the street during a snowstorm.
"A lot of different systems in a lot of different cities," he said. "It still takes officers to enforce the ordinances."