The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

July 7, 2014

Alex council discusses parking dilemma

ALEXANDRIA — Parking on Walnut Street was the main topic of debate at the Alexandria City Council meeting Monday night as residents came to discuss possibly eliminating parking on the road.

The animal ordinance, which was eligible for second reading and a vote, was tabled until the next meeting.

Walnut Street has a history of congestion problems. Because the road is narrow and residents park on the side of the road, Walnut is essentially a one-way street.

The city is debating eliminating the parking all together, only having parking at certain times or possibly making the road a one-way going north to alleviate the congestion.

John Steele lives on Walnut Street. He said something needs to be done to help traffic flow but was against making the road a one-way street.

"Right now, when cars are parked on the side of the road, people can't drive past each other," Steele said. "But I think making it a one-way would be inconvenient and could lead to congestion elsewhere in town."

Steele was in favor of completely eliminating parking.

Mike Thomas also lives on Walnut. He told the council he would rather see a one-way then a removal of the parking spots near his house.

"My wife has four older sisters who come visit us," Thomas said. "They need parking spaces close by. I don't like the idea of removing the spaces."

No action was taken on the matter at the meeting. Mayor Jack Woods said he simply wanted to hear what the public had to say before having town attorney Jim Wilson draft an ordinance.

"We need to find a happy medium for everybody," Woods said. "But right now I'm not sure what that is."

Woods said making the street a one-way to Madison Street could be a quick fix but didn't know if it was a viable long-term solution. There is also an abandoned property on the road owned by an LLC in California. Woods said the city will look into possible acquiring the lot and converting it into a short-term parking lot for the residents in the area.

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