CHAGRIN FALLS — Bright orange signs will go up on May Court today advising the public of a 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. curbside parking ban beginning Friday for the next 30 days.
The prohibition takes effect as the council Safety Committee – and possibly the parking commission – continues to hammer out a permanent solution to the all-day, bumper-to-bumper parking problem May Court residents have been complaining about for two years.
Cars will be ticketed beginning Friday, police Chief Amber Dacek said. The ban includes residents.
“There should be no cars on that street during those hours including residents,” Chief Dacek said. “If there is a bright orange sign that says ‘no parking’ and people still park then, yeah, we will ticket.”
Council was poised to pass a permanent solution to the May Court parking issue on Monday, but went for the temporary ban.
The latest version of a proposed permanent solution called for cutting half the number of parking spaces on May Court and posting specific parking spaces on connecting Elm Court and Village Circle.
The proposed ordinance specified parking spaces on those two streets and was to have passed as emergency legislation but was instead put on three separate readings when Elm Court and Village Circle residents voiced their opposition.
Their concerns included the ordinance would invite parking and push the May Court’s problems into their neighborhood.
Their complaints included a plan which designated specific parking spaces across the street from driveways and they pointed to their streets’ curves and inclines which, in winter, will invite collisions with parked cars.
Then there was the problem associated with the fact neither Elm Court or Village Circle have curbs to stop cars from rolling over tree lawns.
One man said he has been trying to grow grass on his tree lawn for years and allowing parking in front of his house would not help.
The council meeting discussion on Monday and the safety committee meeting just before it gave residents a two-hour platform to restate and state their concerns.
Some continued to push for permit parking for residents only which did not win the favor of council members who anticipated a rash of similar requests.
Council President Karl Maersch told residents on Monday that he understood the problems but residents are not guaranteed a parking space in front of their homes.
All-day parking on the narrow street at the edge of downtown has become a popular place for employees and customers of nearby businesses seeking a free spot.
Residents claim the problem did not surface until recently.
Council members have complained neighborhood businesses have been warned about the problem their cars were creating and were given maps of alternative free parking in private lots including the municipal lot and Federated Church.
Mayor William Tomko told the council that business owners were told they could park on May Court because it was a public street. The street has no posted parking limits and that has proved to be an attraction.
“But what we are fighting is the perception that it’s ‘my God-given right to park in front of where I want to go.’ People do not want to walk,” he said.
Mr. Maersch expressed frustration with the length of time and number of meetings May Court residents have endured while the council has attempted to define a solution.
Councilwoman Angela DeBernardo serves as safety committee chair and said she would call another meeting this week and was confident there would be a resolution before the 30-day ban expires.