With winter weather upon us, Sitka police say road safety is a growing concern. The days are shorter – today the sun rose at 8:11 a.m. and set at 3:29 a.m. – so the streets are dark during peak traffic times. Lt. Barry Allen says the limited visibility makes accidents more likely.
“Everybody’s going to and from work and to and from school in the dark,” said Allen. “So, yeah it does make a difference especially if you get a light rain and light snow at the same time. That’s actually caused a couple of pedestrians to get hit, even on the main roads where they’re fairly well lit.”
Allen says another problem is when drivers park on the side of the road. It blocks plows from keeping snow off the road and narrows the streets, so it can be difficult for two cars to pass at the same time.
This happens when it starts to get colder and snow more, and people have a hard time getting in and out of their driveways, especially if they live on a hill.
Police say they’ll be enforcing parking regulations so they can keep the roads as open as possible. If the Department of Transportation deems a car a hazard, police will impound the car and issue a citation.
Allen says that while there is some lag time between when it snows and when they start writing tickets, people need to move their cars as soon as possible, regardless of whether snow is still on the ground.