Dec 9, 2013

Will parking be allowed in Huron Twp. housing development?

Officials discussed restricting parking in neighborhood during a recent public meeting.

Erie County project engineer Matt Rogers provided the following response in a letter to Huron Township trustees about the proposed parking zones in the Huron Green subdivision:

The township received a complaint about parking from a resident of the subdivision. From what I understand, the nature of the original complaint sounded like it was residents concerned about other residents parking in areas, like close to sharp curves, where parked vehicles might partially obstruct drivers' views of the road.  

As a result, the township asked our office to review parking in the entire subdivision and make any recommendations that might be beneficial.

Unregulated parking can result in the issues like what I've already described above. It can also lead to people parking vehicles in places where they might not be expected, such as the busier streets that act as the main arteries for an entire subdivision. 

This is especially true in modern subdivisions, where usually each house has a driveway for off-street parking and vehicles parked on the street are only intermittently encountered. Drivers may not expect them, and they can act as roadside hazards because, fundamentally, a parked vehicle is an object in the roadway, in contrast to urban areas, like Sandusky, where many houses do not have access to off-street parking. So residents must park on the street, and drivers expect to encounter parked vehicles.  

In residential subdivisions ,typically older subdivisions, where there are many vehicles parked on the street, parking on both sides can lead to the hazard of the proverbial child running out from in between two parked vehicles, and significant numbers of parked vehicles can restrict emergency vehicle or snow plow movements.  

However, on-street parking has benefits, too, especially where there are a larger number of vehicles parked on the street. Parked vehicles force drivers to slow down, because parked vehicles effectively narrow the traveled portion of the road, and drivers tend to travel more slowly on narrower roads. Drivers slow, too, to better maneuver around parked vehicles, especially when there is opposing traffic. So in effect, allowing on-street parking is an effective traffic calming tool.

Most townships, and this is likely what Huron Township desires to do, wisely try to balance these positives and negatives. In most cases, on-street parking cannot be eliminated entirely, nor should it.  There are legitimate reasons why residents and visitors should be allowed to park on the street (social gatherings, a driveway or garage may not big enough, personal preference, etc.).  

With a wide-open road, drivers tend to travel faster, which itself can lead to safety issues.  As a result, what typically happens is parking is prohibited on one side a street and permitted on the other side.

This:

• Allows enough on-street parking for residents and others

• Preserves a portion of the traffic calming effect.

• Eliminates about half of the potential locations where a child could run out from between parked vehicles.

• Leaves the road sufficiently open for larger vehicles (snow plows, fire trucks, garbage haulers, delivery trucks, etc.).  

Drivers can then properly anticipate the presence of parked vehicles. Also if parking is prohibited on one side, drivers will expect to find vehicles parked on the other side, which prevents drivers from being surprised by encountering a vehicle parked in an unexpected location.

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The Mailbag is a daily feature on sanduskyregister.com. Each weekday at noon, we will post one question from a reader and answer it. To ask a question, send a letter to The Mailbag at 314 W. Market St., or email mailbag@sanduskyregister.com. Please include your first name and a location in the email, e.g. “John from Decatur Street."

Comments

BabyMomma

Completely off topic.....last Thursday the 5th, I was in Marblehead right on the Bay about 1:30 p.m. And a large Jet flew past about 75ft off the water. It was big and silent! I was at an auction with 40-50 other people who saw it as well so I didn't imagine it! Any commenters see it or know what's up with it?

2cents

The president on a secret golfing mission? : )

BabyMomma

No, there was only one jet. I didn't see one following it for his dog :-)

2cents

Parking restrictions are a city choice. My friend lived in North Olmstead and she told me that all cars must be off the streets in the entire city after 2AM. Now that is strict!