A new ordinance proposed this week by city officials would amend city policies regarding curbside parking.
Ordinance No. 2759 would amend Chapter 25 of the Code of Ordinances to include Section 25-82.1, prohibiting curbside parking within 25 feet of any intersection inside the city limits.
City Attorney Jim McLeroy explained that this was an ordinance city officials had received a request for. City staff explored the idea of “creating some kind of safety zone.” The idea was for “cars approaching intersections to be able to see approaching street in the street they’re intersecting.”
City staff, after studying the matter, proposed a general ordinance restricting curbside parking within 25 feet of an intersection inside the city limits instead of approaching it on a street-by-street basis, according to the city attorney.
“We will not enforce this unless we put up signs in these areas or otherwise mark curbs,” McLeroy said when presenting the proposed ordinance to city council members earlier this week.
McLeroy said getting all streets marked would be a lengthy process. City officials proposed starting on “fundamental streets” first, then working on a semi-priority basis outward from there.
Place 7 City Councilman John Sellers asked if this would impact already marked parking spaces and if parking downtown would be affected by the ordinance change.
“I don’t think this is going to be an issued downtown; 25 feet isn’t very far. You get toward the intersection downtown, there’s a tree that’s a good size there,” City Manager Marc Maxwell said.
Sellers expressed concern for the North Davis and Atkins Street intersection, which drivers sometimes have difficulty seeing when turning depending on what’s parked near that intersection. He asked if the 25-feet rule would apply there to help improve visibility.
“This isn’t going to solve all those issues, but it will solve some of them,” McLeroy said. “We use 25 feet because our typical building set back is 25 feet,” McLeroy said, adding that constructing something within that 25 feet would obstruct visibility.
“Hopefully, it’s far enough that when cars pull up to the intersection, if they’re careful, they’ll be able to see enough of the approaching street to tell if it’s clear traffic to go,” McLeroy explained.
The city attorney said the city may at a later time present a traffic map and request that the ordinance be amended based on findings of the map. Going ahead with the change would allow the city begin addressing some specific intersections, particularly on residential streets, where potential curb safety issues have been identified.
The proposed ordinance received approval from Sulphur Springs City Council on first reading. The ordinance will be read and presented again for approval at an upcoming city council meeting before it can be officially be adopted.