Council to discuss parking issues

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


During a special session of the Washington City Council at 6 p.m. in the Washington Public Library, discussions on parking concerns in Washington will be an issue discussed.

According to the agenda, the only action item regarding parking is the third reading of an ordinance amending parking in front of Marshall?s Furniture. Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said the council also will begin discussions on other areas in Washington where parking issues have been reported. The council originally discussed several areas of concern during an April 5 meeting, but since then, Hinson has received reports of other areas that the council needs to address. He has provided a new list of trouble parking spots to the council.

?As we have started talking about parking, it has been kind of a hot topic around town,? Hinson said. ?We have had numerous pieces of input from the public and so we have a list of about 12 areas that we?re looking at.?

Hinson said there had been some council discussion on a few of the areas. He said that there also has been a staff meeting on the areas that included Washington Police Chief Greg Goodman, engineering technician Keith Henkel and maintenance director J.J. Bell. He said there have also been areas individual council members have been looking into.

The sites that the council have already discussed include: going to parking on only one side of South B, South C, North Iowa, and North Marion to facilitate better traffic flow. Currently with parking on both sides of the street, traffic is limited to one lane in some areas; no parking further back at C and Monroe to correct a sight distance problem; and sight distance problems at South Iowa and Tyler.

The council came to a consensus at a previous meeting that city employees should further study the issue, as well as council members should talk with constituents about parking problems in those areas to see if the problems couldn?t be addressed without changing the ordinances.

New areas the council will be discussing include: North Sixth Avenue; downtown parking; South Fourth Avenue north of the Tyler intersection; a handicapped parking request on East Main Street; Van Buren Street at Case Field; North Marion Avenue; Monroe Street from C to E avenues; North B and Second Street; and Prospect Place.

?We aren?t in a hurry to make changes,? Hinson said. ?Some of these things have been that way for a long time and we want to be sure to think it through thoroughly before we change anything. There will likely be some kind of changes that come out of this.?