More changes in store for city parking

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The first of several proposed changes concerning how and where parking is allowed in downtown Greencastle went before the City Council at its October meeting this week.

Three separate ordinances were unanimously approved on first reading Tuesday night, including one (Ordinance 2014-15) necessitated by irregularities occurring in the aftermath of the South Indiana Street streetscape project completed in August.

Ever since the street was reopened, drivers have defied the reconfiguration and parked adjacent to the new bump-outs along both sides of Indiana in the narrower 75-foot section immediately south of Washington Street.

Essentially the street was redesigned with no parking to be allowed from Washington Street south to the alley. And from the alley south to Walnut Street, the spaces are considered part of the two-hour limit.

While common sense would seem to dictate there is not enough room for parking along both sides and two lanes of traffic on Indiana Street to the alley, part of the confusion stems from the lack of a yellow curb or proper signage in the aftermath of the construction.

Consequently City Police parking enforcement officer Darcy Hendershot has had to "go store to store, trying to find these people," asking them to move their vehicles if she is able to track them down somewhere downtown.

She can ask them to move, but the vehicles cannot be towed or ticketed, city officials said, until Ordinance 2014-15 is adopted. Right now there is nothing on the books to indicate the dubious parking in question is even illegal.

The city intends to address the issue with signage alone rather than muddle the newly created ambiance with gaudy yellow paint.

"We're not going to paint the curb yellow, are we?" Councilman Mark Hammer asked, all but knowing the answer.

"No, we are not," Mayor Sue Murray responded.

Instead, a no-parking sign on the west side of Indiana will be posted near the Washington Street corner, reminding drivers there is no parking for 75 feet.

On the east side of Indiana, a sign will be placed near the alley that states, "no parking here to corner."

Also, the section of Indiana from the alley to Walnut Street will be posted with signs indicating presence of the two-hour parking limit. With such signs not replaced after construction, several vehicles have been parking in those spots all day, the Council was told.

In order to get Ordinance 2014-15 on the books promptly and eliminate the parking problems that have evolved, the Council will meet in special session at 5 p.m. Monday, Oct. 20 to consider adoption of the measure on second reading.

Meanwhile, the City Council has also approved first reading of Ordinance 2014-16, which amends the schedule of reserved parking spaces, and Ordinance 2014-17, which changes leased municipal parking lots to free and open public parking.

Ordinance 2014-16 will add as reserved parking spaces:

-- Three spaces on the east side of Indiana Street (between Walnut and Poplar) for vehicles of the fire chief and fire department personnel only at all times.

-- Ten spaces along the north side of the new Southcourt (Jackson-Walnut-Indiana) parking lot for vehicles and employees of Crown Equipment from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

-- Five spaces along the south side of the new Southcourt parking lot at all times for employees of First Christian Church.

The reserved spaces for Crown Equipment and First Christian are a result of negotiations involved in acquiring the property comprising the Southcourt site.

Meanwhile, Ordinance 2014-17 makes the North Jackson Street lot (north of the Banner Graphic), Columbia Street lot, new Market Street lot (formerly the Moose parking lot) and Southcourt free and open parking.

The ordinance does not affect the status of the Vine Street parking lot.

The parking measures addressed Tuesday night are just the beginning. The Council is also expected to address the two-hour limit area and how it is enforced once the two new parking lots (being developed in lieu of the ill-fated parking garage) are open.

That should occur by mid-November or Thanksgiving at the latest, Mayor Murray said.

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  • this is why I don't shop in greencastle

    -- Posted by jwkdsk on Fri, Oct 17, 2014, at 7:21 AM
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