Parking and traffic issues coming up

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


While the Washington City Council didn?t debate the first reading of an ordinance to make adjustments to the parking in front of Marshall?s Furniture very long, other reports of parking and traffic concerns came in for deliberation at future meetings.

Council members passed the first reading of the ordinance that would adjust two parking areas around the building to make them two-hour parking and eliminate two parking stalls on South Marion near the south entrance to McDonald?s. City administrator Brent Hinson had also included a diagram in the council packet to clarify the ordinance.

?This doesn?t address all the problems we have been discussing but it does address parking in front of Marshall?s,? Mayor Jaron Rosien said.

The council will have two more readings before the ordinance becomes part of the city code. The reason for the change is to address Thursday night parking, where people leave vehicles in the spots for several days and to improve loading and unloading on South Marion.

No public comment was made on the ordinance change, but resident Evie Richardson made comments regarding parking during the public comment section of the meeting.

Rosien said that parking is coming up at a special session on April 24.

?The biggest problem I have with Ave. B is that it is a speedway,? Richardson said. ?The only thing that really slows those speedways down is when you have to slow down and take turns when there are cars parked on both sides of the street.?

She said that emergency vehicles use B quite a bit and she has not seen parking on both sides obstructing these vehicles.

Rosien said that nothing has been decided yet. He said that he has had two constituents with similar information.

Revisions to the parking code the council is considering 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.

Other public comments included traffic traveling too fast on South 12th Avenue. Council member Fran Stigers said he had received comments regarding this, including several constituents saying even the school bus goes fast along the avenue.