Falmouth Police will tow cars that violate the town’s temporary parking restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need people to adhere to these parking bans, and we’ve tried to educate people by giving them parking tickets, but it’s not working,” Falmouth Police Chief Edward A. Dunne told selectmen at their meeting on Monday, April 27. “There is a directive I am putting out, effective tomorrow, that we will continue to enforce the parking restrictions, but we are going to start towing vehicles. They’re leaving us no choice. It’s become a safety issue, and it is taking up a lot of our time.”
Between March 1 and April 27 Falmouth Police have responded to 140 parking violations, up from 110 during the same time period last year.
Town administration closed the beach parking lots on April 1. Parking restrictions were also implemented at Quissett Harbor on April 8.
“Just this past weekend, we had an issue at Quissett Harbor with people not adhering to the temporary parking ban,” Chief Dunne said.
Police officers issued 20 parking tickets on Saturday, April 25, alone.
“We had one individual say, when the officers were there writing, they pulled up and they go ‘I will pay the ticket’ and walked off,” Chief Dunne said. “It’s not acceptable. Parking bans are there for a reason.”
Chairwoman Megan E. English Braga said the ongoing parking problems at The Knob present serious issues.
“Some of the ways people are parking, not only is it violating a parking ban, it is more importantly causing a public safety hazard, because if a firetruck, ambulance or police cruiser needed to navigate that particular section, it would be difficult, and sometimes, in some of those cases, impossible to do so,” Ms. English Braga said. “We understand people want to get out and about, but obviously, that is not the mechanism that you’re going to be able to use to get some fresh air, blocking entire roads or half of a lane.”