Council Tables Parking Ordinance

On March 10th Monroe City Council considered an ordinance that would restrict parking on streets less than 28 feet wide. The proposed restriction would prohibit parking on the side of the street where a fire hydrant is located. The ordinance was proposed in the interest of public safety. Emergency vehicles experienced difficulty driving through these neighborhoods and snow plows working during winter storms faced the risk of damaging parked vehicles. Several residents questioned why the current snow emergency ordinance was not enforced throughout the city. Another reason for the ordinance related to the safety of residents. The proposal would allow two cars to pass without having to stop for the other vehicle. Many streets in the City of Monroe would be affected by this ordinance. The City notified the residents who would be affected by this ordinance and many of them appeared before Monroe City Council on March 10th. 

More than a dozen residents voiced their opinion on the ordinance. The majority of the speakers were against the proposal for various reasons. Several people thought that children are more at risk if cars are parked only on one side of the street. Some residents mentioned that there are only a few houses on their streets and they did not have a problem. Other residents looked at the parked cars as a way to discourage cars from speeding through their neighborhoods. One resident stated that, "cars being parked on both sides of the street usually causes others to slow down and makes it safer." The cost of painting and placing over 8000 signs throughout Monroe would cost the City in excess of 50,000 dollars. There was also a discussion about the enforcement of the ordinance. 

Following the discussion, city council agreed to table the proposal while more information is provided to the Council. Council member Bob Kelley brought up the idea of holding a work session to workout the issues with this ordinance. Council member Tannreuther agreed that, "we need to revisit this issue." Council member Rubin agreed but stated, "If a fire truck cannot get through then you cannot park there." She hoped to reach a happy medium on the issue. Council member Shell said, "We're right to table the issue. There has to be a set standard and we need the right information to do a better job when it comes to this ordinance." Council member Hale said, "If we're directed properly then the right thing can be done."

The date of the next meeting has not been announced. When the meeting date is set it will be communicated throughout the city. All residents will be encouraged to attend and let their concerns be known. Council wants to be sure the right thing is done when it comes to this parking ordinance. 

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