West U Looking into Parking Solutions for Narrow Streets

June 26, 2012

The West U City Council will continue to look into solutions to on-street parking problems in the city despite a majority of residents not wanting any changes to be made.

The city held three town hall meetings in April to hear from residents about their concerns and suggestions for improving or changing on-street parking regulations.

The city received 284 individual responses by email, comment cards or at the town hall meetings. A total of 367 comments were received with some responders giving more than one response.

Of those that responded, 49.3 percent said to do nothing or consider changes on a case by case basis, while 16.9 percent were in favor of one-side parking and 8.4 percent wanted to eliminate on-street parking.

Rick Staigle, of Traffic Engineers, Inc. said case by case is often interpreted as “I don’t care what you do in front of someone else’s house, just leave me alone.”

Some of Staigle’s recommendations included identifying higher volume street segments and street segments less than 25 feet wide; developing a pilot program with buy in from a majority of affected residents (by block) for “one-side parking” or “no parking;” and to determine the percentage of affected residents that must support the parking restriction before implementation.

To view the report, click here.

Ross told council that they were hoping to find a cluster of responses in certain areas of the city to start a pilot program, but the responses were not concentrated on certain width streets.

Mayor Bob Fry said he didn’t see anything in the report to make any major changes, but other council members had concerns about safety and felt that further parking solutions should be pursued.

“This is an issue we’ve identified that I think we need to pursue,” Councilman Ed Heathcott said. “I hate to see the city littered with a bunch of signs. I struggle with that. That’s the point where I have reservations.”

Councilman Dick Yehle said that they shouldn’t “cherry pick” streets and that whatever they do it should be consistent throughout the entire city.

Councilwoman Joan Johnson suggested that the council look at narrow streets for a pilot program.

Ross reminded council that looking for parking complaints originated with residents, not police and fire.

“Most cities that start looking at this back off,” Staigle said. “It becomes very controversial in a hurry.”

The council directed city staff to look into a pilot program for streets 24 feet or narrower for parking on one side of the street, an overnight ban on parking and no parking on the street at any time.

City Manager Michael Ross told InstantNewsWestU.com that staff will put together the pilot programs for council’s consideration at a meeting in July.

InstantNewsWestu Staff

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