Despite rules against it and notices and signs reminding drivers of the prohibition, cars still park along Maple Street. Village leaders say the street is not wide enough to have two-wat traffic and on street parking.
(Journal-Tribune photo by Mac Cordell)
Monday’s Plain City Council meeting featured the familiar topic of parking, this time with advocates for it and those in opposition.
Since the Aug. 26 meeting, Village Administrator Nathan Cahall sent a letter to residents on Maple Street to inform them of the possibility of making the street one-way to allow for on-street parking.
Jennifer Shugert, who co-owns the Plain City Chiropractic Office with her husband, expressed confusion as to why on-street parking has not been allowed since construction was completed on the street.
She said the letter explained that the roadway was not wide enough to allow for parking, but her understanding was that construction did not change the road width.
“If the road width didn’t change and that was the deciding factor, how does that make sense?” Shugert asked.
Council member Shannon Pine explained that the road width itself hasn’t changed, but a curb has been added that creates a physical barrier along the roadway that prevents drivers from going off the roadway, like they may have done in the past.
“If on-street parking was allowed, then one of the lanes would be, for lack of a better word, compromised,” Cahall said.
Cahall’s letter to residents suggested a solution of designating Gay Street as one-way running north to south and Maple Street one-way, south to north. This would allow for on-street parking on the east side of Maple Street.
However, this would prevent entry to Maple Street from Main Street. Shugert said this rendered the solution detrimental to businesses in that area.
“This, to me, is one person throwing out a letter with his agenda,” she said. “To me, it’s offensive.”
Although creating more parking has been the focus of recent meetings, this time residents who opposed doing so voiced their opinion as well.
Shane Madigan, a resident on Maple Street, said he did not want on-street parking in the residential area of the street because he felt it would be unsafe to pedestrians and drivers.
He said he appreciated the letter from Cahall and felt it was more informational than threatening.
“It was just an attempt to try to let people know what council was thinking,” Madigan said.
Additionally, he said he felt the completed construction has increased the “curb appeal” of the area and adding parking would hurt the “optics.”
“I realize this isn’t New Albany, but I don’t want it to look like we live on the north side of Columbus again,” Madigan said.
Despite this, he said he understood why business owners would want on-street parking, he just didn’t want it to be added to the residential area.
“I’m not necessarily opposed to having parking (near the businesses),” he said. “I don’t want them to suffer or to be punished.”
Council said they will continue to discuss the matter at the tonight’s work session, which is open to the public and will begin at 6 p.m. at the fire station.
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