City Council to vote on ordinance restricting parking by mailboxes

Monday, November 29, 2010 | 5:31 p.m. CST

COLUMBIA — Columbia residents may have to watch how close they park to mailboxes after the Dec. 6 City Council meeting. The council plans to vote on an ordinance that would amend the city code to prohibit parking within 10 feet of any mailbox.

Second Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill received complaints from people missing their mail deliveries because of parked cars blocking their mailboxes, and he asked city staff to draft the proposed ordinance. 

“I wanted the city parking ordinance to mimic the postal requirements of their employees,” Thornhill said. The new restrictions would allow postal employees who can’t get out of their vehicles to deliver the mail, he added.

Thornhill said Columbia allows parking in front of mailboxes.

The existing ordinance places restrictions on parking by public or private driveways, fire hydrants, crosswalks and any traffic control signal.

First Ward Councilman Paul Sturtz and Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl said they had not received any complaints about mailbox blockage.

Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley said, “I’m not going to say it doesn’t happen, but I have not received a complaint.”

Fifth Ward Councilwoman Laura Nauser said she has not received a complaint about mailbox blockage either.

“Mail is an important thing, and I can understand if people are unable to get their mail,” she said. “That is something that should be addressed.”

Nauser also said the amendment might not allow many cars to park.

“In the grand scheme of things, there might need to be a time frame between 8 and 5,” Nauser said. “That may be something we have to address.”

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Barbara Hoppe could not be reached for comment.

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