By Rick Palsgrove
Traffic in the older sections of Groveport can get cramped where there is parking on both sides of the streets.
According to Elm Street resident Rick Johnson, his street is one such street and he asked Groveport City Council to consider limiting parking on Elm Street to one side of the street.
“It gets tight where cars are parked near each other on both sides of the street,” said Johnson. “Plus having cars parked on both sides of the street causes problems with plowing snow.”
Johnson said traffic on the residential street is higher than one would think because drivers often use the street to bypass the traffic lights on Main Street.
“Also, when there are festivals and events that close Main Street, the traffic comes down Elm Street instead,” said Johnson.
Mayor Lance Westcamp agreed with Johnson.
“Elm Street can get pretty bad, especially when there are two cars on opposite sides parked across from each other,” said Westcamp. “It’s a tight fit.”
Elm Street is one of the few streets in the the city wide enough to allow for parking on both sides of the street.
According to Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst, the width of Elm Street varies. From West Street to College Street it is 25 feet wide. From College Street to where the street ends at the new public parking lot it is 30 feet wide. Elm Street then picks up again east of the new parking lot where it goes from 24 feet wide to 14 to 18 feet wide.
Councilman Ed Rarey said he feels the city also needs to review the parking on both sides of Main Street in the historic downtown area.
“It gets tight in places there,” said Rarey. “In fact, we should look at the street parking in the entire city to catch up with modern times.”
City Administrator Marsha Hall said downtown Main Street is different from the purely residential streets in town.
“I think we would receive complaints from the Main Street businesses (if parking was limited to one side of the street) since many of those businesses have no off-street parking, or very little off-street parking,” said Hall. “Actually a side benefit of having parking on both sides of Main Street is that it causes drivers to go slower.”
Farst said Main Street is 36 feet wide from Tallman Street to College Street. Then from College Street to Brook Alley it widens to 45 feet. From Brook Alley to Crooked Alley it goes back to 36 feet. From Crooked Alley to Town Hall it is 44 feet wide and then 52 feet wide from Town Hall to Front Street. From Wirt Road to the corporation limit it is 36 feet wide, but from about 900 Main St. it tapers to around 21 to 22 feet to Richardson Road.
Many of the streets in the old part of Groveport are of different widths and have varying parking restrictions. For example, the width of Cherry Street, which is also used as a bypass when Main Street is closed for festivals and events and only allows parking on one side of the street, varies. In the Westport subdivision from Tallman Street to Sheryl Drive it is 30 feet wide, but from Benson to Westport it is 26 feet wide. Then in the older part of town from Lesleh Avenue to about 333 Cherry St. it is around 18 feet wide, from 333 Cherry St. to College Street it is 20 feet wide, and from College Street to Wirt Road it is 20 feet wide.
City officials, including the city engineer and police chief, will study the street parking situation and report back to council.
Other Groveport news
•The Groveport-Canal Animal Hospital, located on Main Street across from Groveport Town Hall, is considering expanding into the vacant lot the business owns next door. The business owners have requested a zoning variance to allow them to build a 2,838 square foot, one story brick addition to their existing building.
•An individual has applied for a zoning variance to allow for the manufacture of food for a food cart and bulk supply for delivery at 480 Main St.
The planning and zoning commission will review both of these requests at 6 p.m. on April 6 in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.