ETNA GREEN – Town Council passed a downtown parking change Tuesday, making spots on both sides of Walnut Street parallel to the curb.
The ordinance allows businesses to claim two spots and to post signs restricting parking to two hours during business hours, after notifying the town. Council members said that may keep apartment residents from parking in front of businesses all day.
The tradeoff is that two angled spaces on the east side of the street will be lost, something Fasttimes Fabrications owner Heath Roberts told council will hurt his business.
Council members said they proposed the parking change for safety reasons, since angle-parked vehicles can pose a hazard when backing out. Councilman Keith Claassen said he had been a passenger in a backing-out accident, and that it’s a change he has wanted to make for 30 or 40 years. Councilman Todd Slabaugh also noted that angle-parked trucks sometimes stick out in the road.
“So for one idiot you’re going to change everything?” asked Roberts, also saying that cars are more likely to speed if there’s more space in the road.
“It only takes one idiot to cause an accident,” councilman Todd Slabaugh remarked. He added that enforcing speed limits is a matter for the police.
“It is what it is,” Amanda Heckaman, manager of the PNC Bank on Walnut Street, said after the vote. “I don’t feel like somebody is not going to bank with me because of parking.”
Also Tuesday, council approved $24,900 to have the inside of the water tower maintained, something that was last done 12 years ago; and about $9,000 to have the stamped bricks in Remembrance Park recoated.