In older neighborhoods around Colorado Springs where streets are narrow and garages are not universal, parking can be a hot issue.
It can even be a problem in newer California-style subdivisions where greed-obsessed developers squeezed big houses onto postage stamp-sized lots with driveways so short you can’t park without blocking the sidewalk. Here’s an example as seen from FlashEarth:
In older neighborhoods, some houses don’t have driveways and folks are forced to park on the street, between curb cuts for their neighbors’ driveways.
That’s the case on Columbia Street in the Patty Jewett Neighborhood. Not only do folks with no driveways have problems, it’s dangerous for folks who do. Try backing out of a driveways onto a crowded, narrow and busy street.
Here’s another look from FlashEarth at Columbia Street.
So Jason Weyant called the city and asked for help. Weyant lives in the hous eon the northeast corner of Columbia and Wahsatch Avenue, above. He worries he will hit a partked car or someone snaking their way down the street trying to back out.
Here’s a look at Columbia, facing east.
Weyant asked the city to simply designate one side of Columbia as a no-parking zone. He figured that would make it safer for motorists and folks like him trying to come and go.
Notice the cars parked up against driveways? According to Springs codes, it is illegal to park within 5 feet of a driveway. For all practical purposes, it would be illegal to park along most of Columbia and a lot of streets in the city because there isn’t enough room between driveways.
The city’s response to his request for no parking? No way!
Traffic engineers say the city would never abolish parking on an entire block, one side or the other, without written agreement from everyone on the block. Fat chance of that ever happening.
Part of the problem is the goofy way streets were designed a century ago. Check the image below from FlashEarth. It shows how some streets, like Corona, were built about 55 feet wide while side streets like Columbia were just 28 feet. Wonder where they parked their horse-and-buggies and kept their jet skis?
But the city didn’t just blow Weyant off. They tried to help by putting up a couple “No Parking” signs on either side of his driveway to remind people of the law.
Weyand said he’s grateful for the signs and may circulate a petition to ban parking on one side of the street. It will be interesting to see how that turns out.