City council to consider expanded parking

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


Should parking be allowed in the center of the 200 block of North Marion Avenue?

While the Washington City Council took no action Tuesday during discussion of parking issues, the members indicated having no issue considering the possibility. City Administrator Brent Hinson told the council a new property owner in the area had suggested instituting center parking between Second and Third streets. He said the street appears to be the same width as it is between Main and Second, where there is center parking. He also said North Iowa, which is right around the block, has center parking. Hinson said adding center parking could add an additional eight to nine parking spaces.

?It will be a definite change, but it could be a definite improvement,? Mayor Jaron Rosien commented on the issue, which was only first brought to the council that night.

Hinson said the recommendation had ?come out of left field? the previous week. He said the north half of the block narrows a bit, so if the council opts to allow center parking, he suggests it only be on the south half of the roadway.

Council member Steve Gault stressed the parking could only be a single line of parked cars, and not head-to-head parking.

Hinson said he would speak with the owners of area buildings and the city would also check to see how the street is being used before the council considers the change.

?You don?t want to think you are doing something great and end up creating a big issue you aren?t anticipating,? Hinson said.

Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman commented one issue may be getting fire trucks down the road with center parking.

In working with parking, the council voted to create an ordinance that would: put a 4-way stop at South Avenue C and West Van Buren Street; institute a no-parking area on South Iowa and West Tyler; institute an all-way stop at South Avenue E and West Tyler Street. The ordinance will be given three readings before it becomes law.