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June 11, 2013 8:17 am

EDITORIAL: City Council right to ponder parking issue

Written by Tom Lawrence

The Powell City Council is headed in the right direction with its proposal to enforce a city ordinance prohibiting parking within 40 feet of intersecting sidewalks or streets.

Councilman Eric Paul brought the issue up for discussion during the June 3 council meeting. Paul said he doesn’t want to infringe on anyone’s right to own and use an RV or other vehicle, but he is concerned about the number of them that are parked on city streets, often blocking drivers’ views.

A quick survey around Powell last week showed that several RVs are parked too close to intersections. The long vehicles may hamper the view of drivers and lead to potential accidents.

Paul said he has had two close calls with children suddenly emerging from behind a parked RV as he was driving past. A lot of people, sadly enough, have had that same jolting experience.

The councilman said he genuinely fears a child may be hurt or killed because of this problem.

He said if the vehicles were parked in another location, drivers would not have their view obstructed, and people — including kids who can be prone to rushing out into a street in search of a ball, a pet or for some other reason — would not be placed in danger.

Paul said he feels there is a great deal of community support for enforcing the parking rule. Mayor Don Hillman told him it’s simple: Enforce the law.

Currently, Powell Police are not enforcing it, but will do so if directed by the council and mayor, Police Chief Roy Eckerdt said. The chief said no tickets have been written for the parking offense in recent memory.

Hillman offered this guideline: If vehicles are parked too close to intersections or sidewalks, write a warning. If that doesn’t rectify the problem, a ticket and a fine will probably do so, he said.

We are surrounded by mountains and other glorious outdoor locations that lure people to them. Some drive RVs or haul trailers and/or boats. That’s been going on for some time and will continue.

No one wants to put an end to that. People have the freedom and the right to own what they wish, drive it where they want, and use it as they see fit.

But when storing a large vehicle creates a public risk, or endangers the safety or lives of others, the only sensible thing is for action to be taken. The city is looking into this and may make it easier for people to follow and police to enforce the rule by painting a mark on curbs to indicate where legal parking is allowed.

It’s also important for people to know what the law is and to follow it. After all, it’s in their interest too. No one wants to cause, or be in, an accident that’s created by an obscured view. This problem is not intentional; but it needs to be addressed and corrected.

The solution is clear, and so should be Powell’s city intersections.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link June 11, 2013 8:14 pm posted by clipstein

    want to help downtown powell?????? then enforce parking on bent st. by owners and employees....in 8 years never did I or employee park on bent st unless it was a sunday. how many feel the same way why should we walk to spend money when they are too lazy to make it easy for me or others?

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