As December arrives, so has the City of Binghamton’s annual winter alternate side parking guidelines.

From Dec. 1, 2022 to March 15, 2023, Binghamton residents must adhere to the city’s alternate side parking guidelines to allow for efficient snow plowing. According to the City of Binghamton’s alternate side parking mandate, residents must park on the even side of the street on even calendar days and park on the odd side of the street on odd calendar days until 5 p.m. — even and odd side parking is indicated by the even and odd numbering of houses.

These rules are enforced for all city streets, including streets that only allow parking on one side — except for areas that are exempt from alternate side parking rules.

Binghamton Mayor Jared Kraham highlighted the importance of these guidelines, describing how snow plowing would not be possible without them in place.

“We have densely populated streets in Binghamton and where there are cars parked on both sides of the street — it does not allow the snow plows to move efficiently through the city,” Kraham said. “There is less of a chance that they will get the entire street plowed and on many of the very tight streets that we have in the city, sometimes when there are cars parked on both sides it’s not possible to move a plow through the city.”

Kraham also said the city is “very vigilant to ticketing for the alternate side parking,” describing it as a “snow emergency.” Kraham explained that the main goal of these parking guidelines is to keep the residents of Binghamton safe during snow storms.

Residents and students must work together to follow the alternate side parking guidelines to help the city run efficiently, according to Kraham.

“This is a really small effort — it’s a small gesture that students can do, that residents of the city can do,” Kraham said. “And [they can] really work together to ensure that there is at least room for these plows to go through.”

Sarrah Aliewie, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering who lives off-campus, expressed a negative opinion on the alternate side parking guidelines.

“I live off-campus, and alternate side parking can be inconvenient at times, especially if you have to commute to class,” Aliewie said.

Kraham acknowledged that the parking rules are unfavorable for students living off campus, but emphasized that it is important to remember that public safety is a top priority.

The alternate side parking rules are currently in place for the next four months. Kraham explained that there have been discussions about pushing the official end date of the guidelines to April 1, 2023, to ensure that residents are not affected by late snow storms. However, no decisions have been made regarding the implementation of this extension.

“It’s also a safety thing — we don’t want these plows having to navigate through narrow passages,” Kraham said. “We don’t want cars to get hit — we don’t want the plow drivers to be in dangerous situations. The clearer the roads are the better they can do their jobs. These are men and women who show up at the crack of dawn, who work overnight, who are driving these plows to make sure people can get places safely. So we need to support them and let them do their job, and I think we’ve seen really good compliance from students in the past.”

Mia Cicoria-Timm, a sophomore majoring in psychology, said she felt the parking rules are important for safety in Binghamton.

“I think that the alternate side parking rules will create a safer environment in the winter,” Cicoria-Timm said. “The annoyance of moving your car is a small price to pay for safety.”