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Resident wants no parking zone on her subdivision street

A request to prohibit parking on a portion of a Georgian Meadows street has been deferred for now
Screen Shot 2019-08-13 at 10.24.00 AM
Josie Sammons is proposing a no parking zone on the portion of Highlands Crescent marked in red. Contributed photo

A group of residents is asking council for a parking ban on their street, citing concerns over visibility, pedestrian safety, and access for emergency vehicles.

Josie Sammons, a resident on Highlands Crescent in Georgian Meadows submitted her request in writing in April and was before the Development and Operations Services Standing Committee last night (Aug. 12). The letter was signed by Sammons and her husband as well as those representing three other residences on the street.

Staff recommended leaving parking as is on the street, stating this road was like many in the municipality and while site lines are impacted by parked cars, that’s an acceptable impact on a low-volume, low-speed road.

The staff report also indicated a letter sent to “area residents” resulted in mixed feedback with some in favour of parking restrictions and others against them.

Sammons has lived on the crescent for 17 years, and the portion of the street near her house follows a curve to the intersection with Georgian Meadows Drive. She said there are residents parking cars on the street in all four seasons and on a daily basis.

Sammons, in her letter, said parking on the curve is too close to a main intersection for the subdivision. She is concerned about children’s safety, about poor visibility for cars travelling both directions, and she said she often has to travel in the oncoming traffic lane to navigate through the parked cars and into her driveway.

She said the snow builds up on the curb in the winter, further reducing the width of the street.

“If we had a fire … they would never make it around that corner if there were cars parked there,” said Sammons. “It should be looked at.”

She’s asking the town to implement a no parking zone from the curve of Highlands Crescent to the intersection at Georgian Meadows Drive.

Mayor Brian Saunderson asked Brian MacDonald, director of public works and engineering, about fire and emergency vehicle access.

“There is significant room for a fire truck to get through,” said MacDonald. “The road is 8.5 metres wide, cars generally take 2.5 metres. If there are cars parked on both sides of the road, that’s 5 metres, leaving 3.5 metres for fire trucks.”

Fire Chief Ross Parr did not attend the meeting, but he usually attends regular council meetings. Councillor Deb Doherty said she didn’t want to decide on Highlands Crescent until she could hear from him about fire vehicle access.

As for the matter of four-season parking, MacDonald said parking on streets in the winter is prohibited overnight, but it’s an issue throughout the municipality.

Parking is allowed after 7 a.m. during the winter months, but MacDonald said parking on the streets in the winter, even during the allowable times, creates a problem for winter maintenance.

Councillor Yvonne Hamlin asked if the town could install a yield sign at the intersection for the traffic coming off Georgian Meadows Drive.

MacDonald said that would make it confusing for who had the right of way.

“It’s general practice for someone coming around a corner where visibility is restricted … they should be coming around the corner at a slower speed,” said MacDonald, adding, it doesn’t always happen that way.

Deputy Mayor Keith Hull said he didn’t want to set a precedent by prohibiting parking on that street section for fear there would be a flood of more requests from other, similar streets in town.

“More and more streets are being used for parking lots for RVs and other types of vehicles,” said Hull, adding residents are not using their garages for parking anymore. “I’d like to see [us] really put some thought into a greater report as it relates to parking on municipal streets within subdivisions and all of the impacts that has on a year-round basis.”

Mayor Saunderson reminded the committee there is currently a request in with staff to report back to council on potential traffic calming measures for Collingwood streets. He suggested adding street parking impacts to that report.

The committee agreed, and voted to defer Sammons request until after council has received that report.

Staff did not know the exact date the report would be ready for council.

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Erika Engel

About the Author: Erika Engel

Erika regularly covers all things news in Collingwood as a reporter and editor. She has 13 years of experience as a local journalist
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