City officials offer free parking and PennDOT prepare roads for winter storm

Written by on December 16, 2020

City officials offer free parking and PennDOT prepare roads for winter storm

By Tyler Pratt and Ben Stemrich

December 16, 2020

A driveway already covered in snow early Wednesday afternoon and with the storm expected to continue all night, roads may be dangerous. Even Thursday morning when the snow stops, PennDOT officials are urging caution when driving. Photo| Juliana Wall / WLVR

A major winter storm has arrived in the Lehigh Valley. Heavy snow is expected to fall in the region through tomorrow morning. Easton, Bethlehem and Allentown have enacted snow emergencies-  meaning vehicles need to be moved from snow emergency routes. 

The Allentown parking authority is allowing residents to use several covered parking garages for free through Friday. 

Craig Messinger, the city’s director of public works, is imploring people not to move their cars back to street parking until the roads have been cleared.

“When that snow ends Thursday morning what you are seeing around 7 a.m. and you see that sun out and it looks bright and shiny. DO NOT, do not even think you are going to be able to get on the roadway at that point in time. We have a lot of work to go yet- We are just going to try and fight the storm through the night,” said Messinger.

The city is advising residents to wait to clear their driveways until plow trucks have come through neighborhoods.

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The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation was getting ready long before the snow started falling according to District Press Officer Ronald J. Young.

“We double-check all the equipment and make sure everything is in good working order, with a storm like this,” he said.

Young says anyone going out should keep an emergency winter kit in their car. Plow operators will be all be on call and working 12-hour shifts.

“We recommend staying about 6 car lengths behind a plow truck. If you try and pass a plow truck and there plowing snow they’ll throw the snow up in your direction and maybe blind you for a few seconds and that’s never good on any roadway.”

Young says if needed, they’ve coordinated with other parts of the state for help along interstates 79 and 91. For live traffic cams, visit or use the app.

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