Ay-CAR-amba – Versailles council could limit parking


By Meladi Brewer


VERSAILLES — The Versailles Village Council hosted public discussion Wednesday with citizens concerning South Olive Street parking.

The Street and Safety Committee had previously met on South Olive Street to discuss limiting parking to one side of the street, as there are concerns regarding two way traffic safely passing. Council member Kent Paulus voiced his opinion stating he “does drive the street almost every day and feels it probably does need done.”

“It gets pretty narrow with cars on both sides of the street,” Paulus said.

Citizen John Harman disagreed saying he feels the safety issues regarding the parking are not of any concern. He believes the possibility of two cars meeting in the narrowness of South Olive Street is “very seldom done.”

“I’m of the opinion it happens very seldom, and it slows people down if it does happen. It isn’t a bad thing,” Harman said.

Village Administrator Mike Busse advised the council there were talks of proposing limiting parking on the west side of the street after looking at both sides. He said “there are reasons to do one side or the other,” but after receiving a letter from the Village Engineer, South Olive was deemed not wide enough to have parking on both sides by current standards.

“His recommendation is based on the continued increase of traffic and the fact the roadway is at least a foot too narrow to have parking on both sides with two way traffic,” Busse said.

Busse said he does not have strong feelings about what side of the street the council decides on, as there are reasons to limit parking on either side. He said, on the west side of the street, the advantage is there’s “T” streets that come in, so all the houses on the west side will have their parking affected differently. “If we should limit parking on the west side of the street, they should have the ability to park in front of their houses because they are on a corner lot.”

“If you go to the other side of the street, all those houses have driveways and garages, but many of those don’t have parking available in front of their house,” Busse said.

Regarding safety, Busse said he believes it does not matter what side of the street they limit parking with the exception of Peggy Avenue, but there is already no parking on that curve due to sight distance.

Harman said it was his opinion that there does not need to be anything done to the parking on the street. He advised council he had been to all the meetings and heard the arguments, and his opinion has not changed over the course of the discussion. He said “it’s not really that big of a practical problem.”

“I have seen the engineer’s report, I’ve seen the 1997 plan, and as an engineer myself I can appreciate those things. Even though my opinion may be that you don’t need to do anything, you might feel compelled to do it,” Harman said.

He said he appreciates them looking into the situation because “as soon as you play the safety or liability card, it puts everybody on edge.” He said, if the council must block parking, they should do it on the east side of the street.

His reasonings, having properties on both sides of the street, is that a majority of the properties on the east side who will be affected have driveways and “plenty of places to park.” He said he had been watching people’s parking habits since the last hearing and believes the outcome will be ok.

“I think there are other attributes you want to think about. The driveway provides you a place to park, and also provides you a place to park in front of your garages if you want to service something,” Harman said. “Third thing I’ll point out is safety. The fellows along the east side have driveways and back out of their garage and have a look down the street before backing out.”

The houses on the east side he was referring to were the ones along the curve heading out of town. Harman advised that if the council limited parking on the west side, it would mean the curve lane would become the traffic lane making it harder to see down the road in an ample amount of time while backing out of the driveway.

“If there is a parking lane on the west side, there is a little relief,” Harman said. “I’d really like to not get hit backing out of my garage.”

Council Member Lance Steinbrunner agreed the west side would be a more ample place to park for more reasons than just safety.

“The west side, they don’t have all these driveways going into houses,” Council Member Lance Steinbrunner said. “Those people will have more options of parking on the street without blocking people’s driveways.”

A motion to prepare legislation to allow parking on the west side of South Olive Street was approved by the council. The new legislation will be read in a future meeting. The council also advised yellow lines will be painted on South Olive Street in the spring as well.

The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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