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  • Kevin Elliott

Parking changes considered again on Elizabeth

Rochester City Council on Monday, September 24, were hoping another two weeks will allow city administration and residents along Elizabeth Street to find a solution to parking ailments between Hill Street and Parkdale.

City council in January approved a measure that would have prohibited parking on the east side of the street after some residents asked the city to address parking and safety concerns. Resident Julie Morris said the lack of sidewalks on the east side of the street and parking issues in front of homes have caused property damage, safety issues and other headaches.

Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm said he then heard from residents opposed to the change, and the installation of no parking signs was put on hold. In March, council heard a request to review the decision and hold off on changes to allow the Transportation Improvement Association to look into the matter.

The TIA in May released a draft traffic study report. In June, residents held a meeting at the fire station to present the traffic study and allow the city to receive feedback.

Schettenhelm said the study found traffic volumes on the road ranged from 2,100 to 2,300 vehicles per day, which he said "aren't particularly excessive for the width of the street and location in the city." Speeds averaged 22 mph, with 85 percent traveling 26 mph. Additionally, he said there have been eight crashes in the area between 2015 and 2017.

He also said the study determined the road width could allow for parking on both sides of the street, if desired. However, residents surveyed weren't in favor of the option.

On Monday, September 24, Schettenhelm presented four recommendations. Those included no changes to current no parking zones; installing a missing "No Parking" sign that was removed during construction for Delanoy Court; installing two "Keep Kids Alive Drive 25" advisory signs; or installing a sign at Hill Street to note there isn't a sidewalk north of Hill, toward Parkdale. The last sign, Schettenhelm said, would be to direct pedestrians to the west sidewalk rather than walking across residents' front lawns.

The recommendation, however, failed to satisfy residents on both sides of the street, as some said they continue to deal with parking issues, particularly motorists who encroach into their drive.

Failing to find a solution to satisfy all residents, councilman Stuart Bikson suggested tabling the matter for two weeks, and then making a decision. "If there's still no solution, then we take a hard vote and live with that," he said.

Councilman Ben Giovanelli supported tabling the matter, but said it was doubtful a remedy would be presented that would satisfy everyone.

"The best deal is the one where nobody is happy," he said.

Council tabled the matter, with Mayor Rob Ray, councilwomen Ann Peterson and Kim Russell voting against the motion.

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