Thursday, November 20, 2003

Anderson Twp. considers limiting on-street parking



By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - It's a suburbanite's nightmare: no more parking in the cul-de-sac.

But if you live in this eastern Hamilton County suburb, that soon could be the harsh reality.

Trustees are holding a public hearing 7 p.m. today on a resolution that would prohibit street parking in all cul-de-sacs and on the side of the street where fire hydrants are located.

The measure would take effect on any particular street only after a "no parking" sign was erected, said Frederick Kiel, Anderson Township's law director. Violators would be ticketed and fined $60.

The parking issue increasingly has become a problem for the township's firetrucks trying to squeeze down streets while answering emergency calls, Trustee President Russ Jackson Jr. said.

It's particularly troublesome in older neighborhoods with narrower streets where residents have one-car garages and park on both sides of the street, he added.

"You usually have just enough room to get a firetruck through," Jackson said. "The problem you have is the firetruck has to go real slow; and if there's a car coming in the opposite direction, there's only room for one vehicle. Then the car or the firetruck has to back up in order to let the other vehicle through."

Trustees could vote tonight, he said, depending on residents' reactions.

"If we get a lot of negative, we will take it another step and maybe have a second hearing," he said.

Anderson officials have been studying the issue and gathering similar resolutions from other communities, he said, adding that most prohibit parking only on a street-by-street basis, not a sweeping rule like what Anderson is proposing.

"But we feel it's best to do it across the board; and then if there are exceptions, you work backwards," Jackson said.

"We just have too many streets. We would be evaluating streets forever."

The matter long has concerned fire, police and school officials - and it has worsened as the township's population has grown to more than 43,000, Chief Mark Ober said.

For instance, a vehicle struck a parked firetruck Nov. 1 on Robin Way at Grantham Way, he said. On June 10, a firetruck had to wait a couple of minutes for vehicles on Yarger Drive to move before it could squeeze down the street to respond to a fire, he recalled.

"We are looking at the proactive side before we get a phone call that the lady down the street died or my house burned down because you couldn't get down the street," Ober said Wednesday.

But residents are surprised the new resolution is so sweeping.

"You would think they could do that with just the streets that are giving them trouble, rather than enforcing it on everyone," said Valerie Niemi, 45.

E-mail jedwards@enquirer.com.




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