RIDGELAND — Police are being granted wider latitude to address curbside parking in neighborhoods where emergency vehicles could be hindered.

Aldermen unanimously approved an ordinance replacing section 11-102 of the Code of the City of Ridgeland on the consent agenda in a 6-0 vote.

Mayor Gene McGee was absent, leaving Mayor Pro Tempor and Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Holder to lead the meeting. He did not vote, but in the event of a tie, he would have broken it. 

The section addresses parking on the street right-of-way.

“Basically this adds language that will allow patrolman to be more proactive and not have to wait for a complaint to be filed,” Mayor Gene McGee said at the Monday evening work session.

The ordinance allows Ridgeland Police officers to tow vehicles parked in the right-of-way after five consecutive days.

"Specifically this is for areas where we cannot have cars parked on both sides of the street so that we can get safety equipment, namely firetrucks, into a given area,” McGee clarified.

Police Chief John R. Neal said that they can also issue citations to cars parked in the right-of-way. Each consecutive day parked in the way constitutes a new citation.

Several officials mentioned different areas where this would help address specific or potential problems, including Boardwalk Boulevard and some of the streets in the neighborhood by the Township.

The ordinance will go into effect after 30 days.