SAFETY Meeting planned for parking restriction vote
A decision to ban or limit parking on 160 streets is tentatively expected July 6.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Trustees expect to decide early next month about a proposed parking restriction for 160 township streets.
The panel voted last month to advertise its intent to ban parking on both sides of all township streets 22 feet wide or narrower.
Elaine Mancini, trustees chairwoman, said that fire codes require 10 feet of accessible roadway at all times to enable safety vehicles to navigate streets.
On narrow streets with cars parked on one or both sides, that can be difficult, she said.
Trustees tentatively set 6 p.m. July 6 to decide whether to go with the full ban or to limit parking to one side of those streets. If trustees opt for the full ban, residents may collect signatures from 51 percent of property owners on a street to have parking restored to one side of the street.
If trustees enact the one-side restriction, residents may collect signatures to ban it on both sides.
Mancini said the issue came to light in fall 2003 when a fire prevention officer notified trustees that a fire truck couldn't get through one narrow street to respond to a fire call because of on-street parking. Firefighters had to go door to door to get someone to move a car, she said.
"Once we were made aware of it, it's the responsibility and the liability of the township to act on that problem," Mancini said.
Public hearings were conducted this spring allowing residents of 19 of the streets affected to voice their opinions on on-street parking. Those 19 streets had been identified as being difficult for safety or road department vehicles to travel because of their width and because of cars parked on the road.
Trustee Kathy Miller voted against the motion to authorize the advertising of trustees' intent to invoke a parking ban at last month's meeting.
"I was shocked when it went from 19 streets that we had public hearings on to 160 streets for the parking ban," Miller said.
Mancini said the township couldn't restrict parking to only those 19 streets and continue to allow parking on both sides of other streets with the same or narrower width.
Miller also said she was concerned about the expense involved with buying and erecting the signs, which is expected to exceed $50,000.
Residents attending Monday's trustees meeting had varying opinions on the issue. Three residents of Chester and Jeanette drives said they support the ban on both sides of their streets because they worry about children darting out from between parked cars and into traffic.
Others, including residents of Argyle and Oakley avenues, said they don't approve.