SOLON– Do we have too many cars or not enough spaces?
Responding to public concerns, the Solon City Council voted last week to prohibit parking in one area of town and look at modifying parking in another.
Council members decided no parking will be allowed on Haganman Lane between Highway 1 and 8th Street, a one-block section on the south side of town; and sought a recommendation from Public Works Director Scott Kleppe on improvements for angle parking on Dubuque Street south of downtown.
According to Mayor Rick Jedlicka, the city had received some complaints about a commercial trailer parked on Haganman Lane. The trailer belongs to a business located on the street which uses the trailer to haul heavy equipment.
After a visit by Kleppe, the business agreed to try and find another place to park the trailer.
But that didn’t erase the concern for council member Steve Stange, who felt any kind of parking on Haganman presented public safety concerns.
“I’m one of the ones that complained about it,” Stange said. “I’ve heard it several times. I also drive that road every single morning, and I have a couple of issues with it.”
Stange said anything parked on Haganman would force an approaching vehicle into the oncoming lane. The street is heavily traveled and designated for truck traffic, he noted. Stange said he felt there was adequate space at the business for on-site parking.
According to engineer Dave Schechinger the street would have to be 31 feet wide to accommodate parking on both sides.
“He’s right, you’ve got to kind of dance around it,” said council member Brad Kunkel.
After several minutes of discussion, Stange offered a motion to restrict parking on both sides of Haganman, and the motion passed unanimously.
A solution may take a little longer for the angled parking along Dubuque Street.
“I’m not saying I want to get rid of angle parking, but the intersections are a huge concern,” Stange said, introducing the topic. He recommended adding bump-outs to Dubuque’s intersections with Short Street and 1st Street, or increasing the angle of parking so large vehicles weren’t sticking out as much.
“Would we lose a couple of spaces by doing that? Yes,” he said. “But we still would have a lot more than we did in parallel parking.”
“To me, the problem isn’t when you’re on Dubuque Street, the problem is when you’re on Short Street trying to cross Dubuque Street,” council member Sue Ballantyne noted. “That’s where you can’t see around those trucks.” She suggested the parking spaces nearest an intersection could be designated for car use only.
Increasing the angle of parking from the more-common 45 degrees to 60 degrees could widen the drivable portion of the road by about two feet, Kleppe reported.
Kleppe will review the situation and report back to the council.