WASHINGTON — Its only been fall for a week and a half but the Washington City Council is already taking a look at how to address parking when it snows.
During a workshop session on Tuesday, Oct. 1, City Administrator Brent Hinson said the issue at hand was a lack of signage that would allow for law enforcement to enforce the codes. He said when the streetscape project was done a number of years ago, the Downtown Enhancement Committee decided there were too many signs on the square. The decision was made to take them down because they were “unsightly.”
Because there are no signs that signify no parking on the square in case of a snowfall, law enforcement cannot enforce the city ordinances. Typically when snow removal is to be done, a sandwich board is placed on the corner of Central Park to notify of snow removal taking place. However, because this is not a permanent sign, law enforcement cannot enforce the ordinance and ticket vehicles that are not complying with vacating the streets.
Mayor Jaron Rosien said allowing these signs would not mean the Washington Police Department would be actively seedings ways to hand out fines. Instead, the new signage was being proposed as a way to solve a problem.
Hinson said if the council should choose to move forward he recommended it look at decorative signs, with framing around them, to make them more appealing to the public. He also recommended the council only pursue the minimum number of signs needed to enforce the ordinance and that the signs be placed on existing poles, as not to tear up the existing concrete. The council decided to add the addition of signage to the agenda for the next meeting.
Rosien said he supported the sign idea and he felt it was the first in a three-step approach to addressing the snow removal issue. The second step would be to make snow removal on the square the first priority and the third step to change how crews remove the snow piles that accumulate.
When crews plow the snow, they are stacked up in various places around the square. Generally, they are removed in a rotating fashion. Rosien suggested instead the crews remove them in order of how they are effecting the businesses.