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Lorain considers changing rules for street parking

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    Cars are parked on both sides of Louisiana Avenue in Lorain on Wednesday.

    STEVE MANHEIM / CHRONICLE

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LORAIN — Changes could be coming to on-street parking procedures in Lorain.

At a City Council meeting Tuesday, a petition from the beginning of August was on the agenda, signed by nine residents of the east side’s Louisiana Avenue opposing any future plans to limit street parking to one side of the road.

Safety-Service Director Dan Given said when he received the petition, he asked the Engineering Department and the city’s traffic commissioner in the Police Department to review the city’s policy on street parking and try to come together with a standardized rule.

“There are no ‘no parking’ signs anywhere on the street,” Given said. “The concern is if there are people parking on both sides of the street, we can’t get safety forces through there. Residents would say just drive down the next street but in an emergency situation we can’t be driving around in circles.”

Given said the Engineering Department determined a set of standards it would recommend — if a street is less than 28 feet wide, there would be no parking at all; if it is between 28 and 36 feet wide, there would be parking on the non-fire hydrant side of the street; and if a street is wider than 36 feet there could be parking on both sides.

Councilman Josh Thornsberry, D-8th Ward, said this would be a “brilliant approach” and he likes the idea of a citywide procedure.

“I deal with this issue frequently,” he said. “In the last year, there have probably been five new streets that have popped up in my ward and I would take it a step forward. This should be on the things that go on before the Planning Commission. This keeps coming up over and over again.”

Councilman Joe Koziura, D-at large, said he wanted to know more about how enforcement would be handled and, in an interview Wednesday, Given said that’s one of the pieces that needs to be figured out.

“This isn’t something that would need to be approved by Council,” he said. “It’s a policy decision that still needs to be finalized and then it turns into how do we implement it?”

Given said the Public Property Department likely would handle making the calls on specific streets but it would be on a case-by-case basis as opposed to a full-on “attack” on existing streets.

“It would affect new developments and it’s something that we would use if residents came to us requesting that the rules be implemented on their streets,” he said, noting there isn’t an established time line yet to make the change.

Contact Katie Nix at (440) 329-7129 or knix@chroniclet.com. Find her on Facebook and Twitter @KatieHNix.
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