Township working to curb illegal parking
Franklin Township is making an effort to curb parking problems on Westport Road.
On Oct. 27 township officials were contacted by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department to discuss possible signage that might be installed on a section of Westport, near Industrial Mile Road.
“There’s become a problem with semi trucks parking on Westport, on both sides of the road,” Road Supervisor Jim Stevens said.
Stevens added the problem stemming from the semi trucks is that motorists are being forced to drive down the center of the lanes. As a result, concerns have been aired about safety risks such as the possibility of more head-on collisions.
“It sounds like it’s enough to cause a major concern,” Stevens said.
During the Oct. 28 Board of Trustees meeting, Franklin Township passed a resolution that will enable the township to post “no parking” signage – which they already have in stock – along Westport Road.
Prairie Township, which shares the stretch of road, has already passed a resolution to install “no parking” signs along the road where it falls within their territory.
According to Stevens, an ordinance was passed in 1974 which limited certain vehicles like semi trucks from parking on any roadways for more than an hour.
However, Board Chairman Timothy Guyton noted that newer residents would not be familiar with a law passed over 30 years ago, and in addition, those types of offenses are difficult to enforce.
“If the law allows up to an hour then they would have to chalk the tires and come back,” Guyton said.
By prohibiting the allowance of parking of any type of vehicle though, the township believes the present problem and risk of collisions can be avoided.
Police Chief Jim Timko said after signs are put in place they will enforce them just as any other traffic violation.
“I think with having a sign present, if a patrolman’s in the area and sees a vehicle in violation they can do it right and there,” Stevens added.
New signage will also soon be added to some Franklin Township neighborhoods, to alleviate problems which have occurred in past years during snow removal.
“We talked about changing the verbiage on some of the signs,” Stevens said, adding that the current wording states that parking is prohibited during a snow emergency.
However, because snow emergencies are issued rarely within Franklin County, parked cars have stopped the road department from being able to effectively clear some streets in the past.
The new signs will indicate no parking after two inches of snow accumulation. This will allow the larger snow vehicles to maneuver throughout certain neighborhoods without risking damage to resident property or leaving streets only partially cleared or snowed in.
The Nov. 25 Board of Trustees meeting will be pushed up one day due to the holiday, and will now be held on Nov. 24. Additionally, unless an urgent matter needs to be discussed, the Nov. 24 meeting will be solely to approve bills and meeting minutes, no new business will be discussed.
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