After hearing from several concerned Summit Avenue residents and Council President Leo Robinson, the Traffic and Parking Commission voted not to eliminate 16 parking spaces on the north side of Summit Avenue toward Webster Avenue at its meeting Tuesday.
The issue came up after the city restriped Summit Avenue, effectively eliminating the parking spaces on the north side of the street as the center stripe shifted the traffic pattern to that side of the street.
But several residents said the loss of the spaces on the two-way street has increased speeding up the hill and made it dangerous to get onto the road from their homes.
“I’m begging you to please reinstate the 16 parking spaces,” said Albert Nash, who added he has lived on the street for 54 years. “When I pull out of my garage, I can’t see the cars coming down Summit Avenue because there are so many cars on the side of the street it blocks my view.”
Another Summit Avenue resident said that he has seen increased speeding on the street with increased potential for accidents.
“I spent a week-and-a-half on Summit Avenue from 7:30 to a quarter of nine, and also at lunch time and supper time, and I didn’t see any need to remove the parking spaces on the right-hand side,” said Robinson. “I think a lot of residents have voiced their opinion that they don’t want to see the parking removed, so I’m here in support of the neighbors.”
Housing and Community Development Director Alex Train gave some background on the parking of the street, and also said his department supported keeping the 16 parking spaces in place.
“Originally, Summit had parking on both sides of the street, along with two-way traffic, and if you have cars on both sides of the street parked, there isn’t necessarily room for cars to drive by on both sides,” said Train. “So if you are coming down the hill, if there are cars parked, you have to maneuver around them a little bit.”
When the street was repaved, the yellow line was shifted to the center, essentially taking an issue that was on one side of the road and moving it to the other side of the road, Train said.
“After we looked at this, we have evaluated the roadway safety and circulation issues, and have found … that if we keep the parking spaces it will probably function just fine,” said Train. “Cars won’t necessarily both be able to go by at the same time, but it will force people to slow down, and it will also allow the neighbors to keep those 16 spaces.”