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Parking restrictions address safety concerns in south Newton

Published: Monday, June 19, 2017 10:34 a.m. CDT • Updated: Monday, June 19, 2017 11:38 a.m. CDT

Two sections of roadway in Newton were approved for parking restrictions to make the area safer. On East 10th Street South and a connected section of South Eighth Avenue East and South Eighth Avenue West, parking will be restricted on one or both sides of the road following city council approval.

The city received safety concerns from citizens regarding the street parking in the 800 through 1300 blocks of East 10th Street South. The concerns centered on vehicles being parked on both sides of the street, making the roadway too narrow for emergency vehicles to safely travel through. A heightened risk for pedestrian accidents is also a concern in the area.

The stretch of roadway under consideration is considered a minor collector street. It measures 25 feet wide, a width the Traffic Safety Committee deemed to narrow to safely accommodate parking on both sides.

Surveys describing the change in parking were sent to 44 adjacent property owners. Of the 22 that were returned, 18 were in favor of the changes and four opposed the restriction.

City council followed the committee’s recommendation and approved restricting parking on the west side of the street in the 800 through 1300 blocks of East 10th Street South.

The areas of the 100 and 200 blocks of South Eighth Avenue West and 100 and 200 blocks of South Eighth Avenue East had similar safety concerns for the roadway along with additional complaints unique to the area.

“These complaints are a result of vehicles being parked on both sides of street causing accidents and other safety issues,” city administrator Matt Muckler said. “A primary concern is the topography of the area coupled with the intersecting streets and driveways provides very little sight distance in avoiding vehicles entering from other roadways.”

South Eighth Avenue measures 35 foot and is one of the busiest roads in the city Muckler said. From 2012 to 2017, that section of roadway had 16 reported motor vehicle accidents. Three of those were personal injury accidents, three were hit and run accidents and 10 were property damage accidents. More than $75,000 were reported in property damage from those incidents.

The Traffic Safety Committee recommended restricting parking on both sides of the street in both areas.

Surveys on the recommendation were sent to 22 adjacent property owners with a total of six returned. Reviews were split 50/50 in favor and against the parking restrictions.

Council ultimately approved the restrictions in both areas.

Contact Jamee A. Pierson at 641-792-3121 ext. 6534 or jpierson@newtondailynews.com