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Parking at River Heights park has neighbors at odds with city

May 3rd, 2012 Posted in Opinion

By Sean O’Sullivan

RIVER HEIGHTS –- A new parking proposal has been brought forward to try to appease the residents of 600 East in River Heights. This road is the main border of Ryan’s Place Park, and there is real concern over the parking habits of the park-goers. People are parking across the street in front of houses where there are “No Parking” signs simply because it’s convenient, residents told the City Council.

However, the main issue is safety over convenience.

Marie Schiess said she sees children run across the street with no concern for their safety and with the parents nowhere to be seen. “I have seen so many times a child come close to being killed,” Schiess said.

Schiess wants the “No Parking” signs enforced better because she has seen people get tickets and still park there.

However, Schiess appeared to be in the minority, as Diane Peterson has a petition to get rid of the “No Parking” signs endorsed by most of the residents along that street.

“A majority of the people want those signs taken down,” Peterson said as she presented her petition to the council.

In an effort to compromise, Councilman Richard Okelberry proposed changing the parking from parallel parking to the angled style. He said that this new style would be able to close to double the amount of cars that would be able to park directly in front of the park instead of across the street.

“It should also cut down on the parking violations on the other side of the street,” Okelberry said.

However, there was concern over the size of the road. Measurements would have to be taken to make sure the road is wide enough to handle the angled parking style and still have two lanes of traffic.

This change in parking was brought up before for a different side of the park, but was struck down by an older council.

“I can’t remember why it got stopped last time,” said Public Works Director Clayten Nelson.

Okelberry also brought up the possibility of adding a mid-block crosswalk with signs to keep drivers aware of children crossing the street.

Nothing official was done, but the council said they would keep working on the issue.


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