North Village residents look for solutions to parking, traffic concerns

Thursday, October 4, 2012 | 10:15 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — North Village Arts District residents had plenty to say at Thursday night's public forum to discuss traffic and parking issues.

Public Works Department traffic engineer Richard Stone had the task of refocusing about 30 residents and business owners in the area, all eager to voice their opinions.

Several attendees sought to discuss the root problem of recent parking issues. They cited the opening of new apartments on Ash Street and College Avenue as the reason that parking has become nearly impossible.  

"I don't think they should open (a new apartment building) up for people to live if there's no parking," said Laura Detert, owner of Open Studio Pilates.  

Detert added the 102nd signature to a petition that another attendee circulated at the meeting. The petition opposed programs, such as a parking permit, that will inconvenience customers.

In addition to parking problems, cyclists were cited as a source of concern for  behaviors such as riding against the flow of traffic and rolling through stop signs. 

Attendees also discussed safety concerns regarding fast, unsafe driving along residential roads and in parking lots.

After identifying the concerns, attendees came up with a list of potential solutions that will address these issues and others. Some of the solutions considered include:

  • Keeping public parking available while providing permits for residents
  • Adopting small area parking instead of large lots
  • Installing signs to regulate traffic
  • Asking law enforcement to proactively look for violators  

The Public Works Department staff will compile participants' concerns and suggested solutions.

Stone will conduct another meeting in two weeks where the arts district community will review proposed solutions before they are presented to the City Council. Those who are unable to attend and still want to participate can reach Stone at 874-7250.  

Supervising editor is Emilie Stigliani.

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