Thursday, December 11, 2003

Parking restrictions narrowed

By Jennifer Edwards
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ANDERSON TWP. - New street parking restrictions to improve safety and emergency response times likely will target problem streets and neighborhoods, not this entire suburb.

Anderson Township Trustee President Russ Jackson Jr. said this week the rule wouldn't be a blanket one, as proposed earlier this fall.

Street parking would be prohibited in cul-de-sacs and/or no-outlet streets, and on the side of a street where fire hydrants are located.

"Doing it township-wide would have created a whole lot of enforcement and education at the same time," Jackson said. "Now we can do it in increments. I think it will be a lot easier."

The parking issue has worried leaders here as the population grew to more than 43,000 residents amid many small, older residential streets and one-vehicle garages and driveways.

A major concern in recent years has been for school buses, snowplows, firetrucks and other vehicles trying to squeeze down packed, sometimes narrow streets during emergencies.

"We are trying to rectify some very unsafe conditions and take some people out of harm's way," Jackson said.

But last month, dozens of residents packed trustee chambers to urge them to reconsider the proposed restrictions.

At today's 4:30 p.m. trustee meeting, Anderson Township leaders are expected to briefly discuss the issue, and then defer the decision until a 7 p.m. meeting Dec. 18.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Anderson Township Fire Department are expected to recommend which streets should have the parking restrictions.

One subdivision that undoubtedly would be restricted is Sherwood Forest, one of the oldest neighborhoods in Anderson. At a recent public hearing about the matter, residents and officials repeatedly described it as a trouble spot.

The new rule would go into effect immediately, or as soon as "no parking" signs are posted, Jackson said.

Violators would be ticketed and fined $60 - and their vehicles could be towed.

Some Anderson residents who appeared before trustees last month to push for a revised rule said this week they were relieved trustees were reconsidering.

"They have a problem, obviously, in Sherwood Forest. But in some subdivisions it's not really an issue, and people need to be able to park their cars on the street," said Terry Weiss, 37.


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