STRUTHERS, Ohio (WYTV) – The threat of a possible parking ban on Struthers streets brought on a hot debate at city hall Wednesday night.
About 50 people showed up to learn more about council’s consideration of a city-wide parking ban.
Council said most streets are very narrow and it’s difficult for traffic, specifically fire trucks, to squeeze by with other cars on the roads. Members said it’s not a penalty — they just want to solve the problem.
Two months ago, residents were outraged when “no parking” signs went up on W. Wilson Street between 5th and 8th streets. Since then, council held two public forums for residents to voice their concerns.
If residents have too many cars, not enough room in the driveway, and no other option but to park in the street, they’re worried about the monthly fee they would be charged.
Others said the parking ban would fuel more tension between neighbors.
Some said “neighborliness” can’t be legislated and if neighbors are going to argue, an ordinance won’t stop that.
Others couldn’t believe they would have to call someone before they have a party to make sure guests have somewhere to park. One man said he’s afraid to have a barbecue at his house, worried someone will get a ticket.
“That’s the environment you created,” he said.
Some people already have problems with neighbors parking on the street, but feel banning parking on just one side would be the best solution.
City leaders said they are still looking at all options. They stress it’s not a punishment for residents, but a safety measure.
Still, they were met with both opposition and encouragement.
One woman said there are larger problems law enforcement should be focusing on.
“I don’t want my police officers or my dispatchers to be a meter maid. I want to know that my officers know who’s walking down the street that doesn’t belong here. I don’t want to have to call dispatch and say, ‘We’re having a party, don’t ticket us.’ Give me a break, that’s ridiculous. We’re a better city than that.”
Council held a committee meeting after Wednesday’s public forum. Members are still considering a ban, though nothing has been voted on at this point.
Whatever is decided, council is thinking about having a trial-and-error period to test the policy.