By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
Bowling Green City Council spent a lot of time on transportation issues last week – not just the flashy topics of roundabouts and pedestrian walkways – but also the more mundane issues of downtown parking, snow removal on streets, and curves that may be contributing to accidents.
Nathan Eberly, who lives on Sandridge Road just west of Avery Drive, told council that two curves on his stretch of the road seem to be sending quite a few motorists into his lawn. He asked that more signage be considered to notify drivers of the upcoming curves.
“I end up with several people in my yard,” especially in the winter when the roads are a little slick, Eberly said.
There was a period last year during a storm when four cars ran off the road into his yard in about an hour. Eberly told council he no longer puts his lighted Christmas deer in the yard since they are too often the victims of accidents.
Eberly said he and his neighbors would like the city to consider placing more warning signs for the curves. He was instructed to take his concerns to Bowling Green Public Works Director Brian Craft.
Also at last week’s city council meeting, Municipal Administrator Lori Tretter explained the need for residents to comply with rules for “snow streets.”
She talked about how problems can snowball if cars are not removed from the street in a timely manner. She showed a photograph of a vehicle parked on a “snow street,” which kept the snowplows from clearing the street, which then kept the garbage and recycling trucks from picking up bins placed by the street. Emergency vehicles may also not be able to make it down unplowed streets.
All “snow streets” in the city are marked with white and blue signs labeling them. “That’s how you know you live on a ‘snow street,’” Tretter said. All cul-de-sacs are also considered “snow streets” since they cannot be plowed with on-street parking. The complete list of “snow streets” and the rules that apply to them can be found on the city’s website.
If the city declares a snow emergency sometime between 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., any vehicle parked on a “snow street” must be removed within two hours after the snow emergency is declared. If the city declares a snow emergency sometime between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., any vehicle parked on a “snow street” must be removed by 9 a.m.
Vehicles remaining on the streets are subject to towing at the owner’s expense, and could possibly be subject to a citation.
“We need everyone’s cooperation with that,” Tretter said.
Even if a street is not listed as a “snow street,” parking vehicles off the street allows for a more efficient plowing process so crews can remove the snow from the entire street curb to curb. This is especially important when the city is receiving many snow storms in succession.
In other business, city council heard from resident Jeff Zuhlsdorf, who said he recently received a ticket after parking his vehicle in the parking lot on the east side of South Main Street in the downtown area. Since there were no meters, he did not realize that he needed to pay at one of the parking kiosks located in the lot.
Zuhlsdorf suggested that the city consider notifying motorists to the change, possibly by posting notices on doors of businesses. He said that the parking officer was in the lot at the time, and said nothing to him, and that he reported his concerns at the police station, but was still frustrated.
“I’m just concerned it’s going to hurt businesses,” he said. “I know it left a bad taste in my mouth.”
Council President Mike Aspacher said the city has made several efforts to educate the public about the parking lot changes, but thanked Zuhlsdorf for his comments.