Parking problems discussed

By David Hotle, The JOURNAL


During the workshop portion of a special session held by the Washington City Council Tuesday evening, several fixes for reported parking problems were discussed and the council agreed on several solutions that the city will more ahead with.

While no action was taken, the fixes for the parking issues will be further examined by city employees and an ordinance with the changes will be drawn up for the council to consider during a future meeting. Mayor Jaron Rosien commented that council members Millie Youngquist and Kerry Janecek were absent, so any changes would need to be examined by them.

Council member Fran Stigers reported that his constituents had said they felt no parking on the east side of South C Avenue would be beneficial. He also discussed moving stop signs on Van Buren to stop traffic at the bottom of the hill. Council member Steve Gault said he had learned some of his constituents are concerned that if parking was banned on one side of C Avenue it wouldn?t slow traffic unless there was a four-way stop. He said there had been reports of people who liked ?getting their cars airborne? at the top of the hill.

The council asked the Washington Police Department to put a speed trailer on South C and Monroe.

?The simplest way around this whole thing is that South B becomes a non-bus route,? Gault said. ?The street at the top of the hill north of the high school becomes a one-way west. I know the people in that housing development out there aren?t going to like it, but they will get over it in about six weeks. If we do that, it takes the high school traffic off C and the bus traffic off B and forces bus traffic onto the Wayland Road.?

The council was concerned about the solution, including Rosien saying that there would be a ?revolt? if the city attempted to implement that. Rosien said the council shouldn?t consider that yet. Gault said another option was speed bumps.

Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson reminded the council there would be major changes to the traffic flow in the area in about three years when West Buchanan is paved to the highway.

Rosien reported that he received input regarding South B and South C indicating that if parking were changed along the streets, that the parking be alternating as it was unfair to allow parking on one side but not the other. He also said that speed was a concern along the street, and that having parked cars along the streets was the only thing that slows cars down.

Council member Elaine Moore said she had people from the area tell her that maneuvering the roads was ?terrible.? She said the streets were basically becoming parking lots.

?Are we here to supply roads with two-way traffic or one lane of traffic,? she asked. ?If we are to have two lanes of traffic we have to address this. If we are to have one lane of traffic, then fine. We just need to decide if we are building these streets for two-way or one-way traffic.?

Additional discussions on parking in Washington will be reported in The Washington Evening Journal later this week.