Rexburg begins its annual ban on parking on the street every day from 2-7 a.m., Dec. 15 to March 1 to improve the speed of snow clearing, as snowfall becomes more frequent.

Rexburg City Ordinance #1030 specifically bans parking on the streets during these times when dozens of city workers start clearing snow and laying salt on the streets.

Keith Davidson, the director of public works for the city, sees the benefit of this policy.

“Vehicles on the street hamper that effort and also cause safety concerns,” Davidson said. “Our drivers who are plowing the streets have to kind of swerve around those vehicles when they’re plowing.”

Between the costs of road salts, wages and equipment maintenance, every snow cleanup costs the city approximately $25,000. Every dollar the department saves in snow removal can go toward other road projects.

“Because snow removal, street cleanup and street repairs all come from the same budget, the money spent on snow removal draws funds from street repairs and maintenance during the spring and summer,” reads the Rexburg page on street winter policies.

Last winter, the Idaho Transportation Department recorded eight instances before Christmas where unaware drivers collided with snow plows working on the highways. City ordinances like these help prevent potential collisions.

“Ultimately, a lot of (these types of policies) come down to safety,” said Erika Tucker, a project organizer for the Idaho Transportation Department’s sixth district, which includes Rexburg.

The city council recognizes the challenges this can create for students needing a place to park but says the benefits outweigh the inconvenience.

“It’s really the apartment complex’s job to make sure there’s enough parking for everyone,” said Councilman Jordan Busby at a November city council meeting.

Students without BYU-I parking passes will need to find a new way to get to campus.

Students without BYU-I parking passes will need to find a new way to get to campus. Photo credit: Spencer Driggs

Earlier this year, the city council discussed pushing up the start date from Dec. 15 to Nov. 15, hoping to catch early snowfall. They ultimately voted against it, citing the added challenge of advertising the change and the decline of early snowfalls.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Rexburg averaged 7.6 days of snowfall each November from 1981-2010. This November, Rexburg had only two.