Discussions continue on parking issues

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


The Washington City Council agreed Tuesday evening to continue with discussions on how to improve parking in Washington after discussing five parking issues city employees had identified.

Discussions began Tuesday evening during the public comment section of the Washington City Council special session when resident Jim Gorham suggested the council considered doing away with head-in parking in the center of the streets around the Washington square. He said that the parking spaces are tight and he believed it was dangerous. He said that there are many children who are regularly on the square.

?We should have one row parking in the center and not have the two row head in parking,? Gorham said. ?People in these big pickups and vans scrunch it down so it is really dangerous.?

He said he would be willing to speak with the street committee about the issue. Mayor Jaron Rosien said it was a valid concern, but he is worried about the impact on business with a major reduction in parking. Rosien also said he had heard quite a bit of talk in the community about the subject.

Later in the meeting the council considered revisions to the parking code. The revisions included going to parking on one side of South B, South C, North Iowa, and North Marion to facilitate better traffic flow. The council packet said that 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. The packet said that sight distance is a problem; and sight distance problems at South Iowa and Tyler.

Council member Elaine Moore said that severalof her constituents had commented on parking along South B and South C avenues and North Marion.

?South B and South C goes directly to the school,? she said. ?You are constantly playing hopscotch. You cut down the road and someone has to stop and you have to wait to see who is going to go. Besides being frustrating it is a safety issue. Could a firetruck make it down the road safely in the event of an emergency??

The council came to a consensus 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.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said city workers are designing the ordinance to change parking around Marshall?s as was requested at a recent meeting, but that the ordinance was not ready for the council to consider.

?I really think that one doesn?t need a whole lot more discussion before we consider the ordinance,? Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson said. ?My goal is to have that on next week?s agenda for first reading. We just ran out of time last week to get it put together for this meeting.?