Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Mayor Pushes for Angled Parking in Parts of City

At Tuesday's meeting of the City Traffic Commission, Lancaster Mayor Rick Gray laid his proposal for angled (as opposed to parallel) parking on the table for consideration.

Gray wants to try angled parking spots, into which motorists would have to back in, on College Avenue between Lemon Street and Harrisburg Pike, Lemon Street from College Avenue to Lime Street, and on Plum Street from Liberty Street to Reynolds Street.

He revealed that speeding is one of the most common complaints he hears from city residents.

The proposed modification is designed to both increase parking space and discourage speeding, he explained.

Angled parking would result in narrower streets - something Mayor Gray is intentionally encouraging.

"From what I've seen, people tend to slow down as the lanes become more narrow," he said.

Bob Seiffert, a local contractor, expressed concern that such things as snowstorms and temporarily-parked delivery trucks might obstruct traffic to a greater extent with a narrowed street.

The Commission listened attentively and assured Mr. Seiffert that his concerns would be taken into consideration.

Others among the handful of residents present at Tuesday's meeting seemed supportive of the effort.

The city plans to experiment with the proposed change soon by blocking off certain stretches of roadways under consideration for the alterations and using duct tape and other temporary markers to simulate the narrowing of the road and the layout of the parking spaces.

Another issue on the agenda concerned a proposal to make East Grant Street "one-way from North Lime Street to North Shippen Street."

A number of residents spoke to that issue as well.

"The [current] two-way is inconvenient at times but I would never want it to be changed because it forces people to slow down," said Peggy Fritz, who lives on the corner of Shippen & Grant.

The only thing that keeps us safe is the prospect of two-way traffic forcing people to slow down and stop," she continued.

The traffic commission tabled that resolution and is expected to act on the proposal to make Grant Street one-way at their next meeting in May.