The Cherokee City Council last week agreed to continue enforcing the existing ordinances governing no parking zones on City streets, but also agreed to continue studying the matter, along with the Planning & Zoning Commission and, perhaps, include all narrower City streets where such parking limitations might be called for.
Currently, there are 49 City streets where parking is limited to one side of the street or the other. Included in that number is West Cherry Street from North 2nd Street to North 12th Street.
However, after the West Cherry Street renovation was completed last year, City Administrator Don Eikmeier and City Streets Superintendent Jim Agnitsch questioned whether the parking restriction on the north side of West Cherry Street was any longer necessary. They agreed to not re-install the "No Parking" signs for a time period to see if any problems arose as a result of parking on both sides of the street.
According to Eikmeier, both Agnitsch and Police Chief Steve Schuck agreed that no parking restrictions on the north side of West Cherry Street could possibly be eliminated.
However, at last week's Council meeting, resident Nancy Nelson of 425 W. Cherry St., told the Council she has never had a problem in the 17 years she and her family have lived at that address until the No Parking signs were not re-installed.
Since then, she has had a traffic accident backing out of her driveway. Nelson said people are now parking on both sides of the street and her driveway, plus she lives on a hill making it very difficult to back out. She maintains the street is not wide enough for parking on both sides, especially in the winter when snow piles up next to the curb, further narrowing the street. Multiple vehicles from two adjacent apartment complexes further exacerbate the issue, said Nelson.
Eikemeier advised the Council and Nelson that a Planning & Zoning member has frequently expressed the opinion that all narrow City streets in question should allow parking on just one side or the other.
Eikmeier said that he will contact the Planning & Zoning Commission and assemble a map showing which streets are currently restricted and which narrow streets aren't. The Commission and City will then review the entire matter.
According to the City, until the study is completed and the ordinance revised identifying all narrow streets and any parking restrictions in question, the City will renew enforcing the No Parking ban on the north side of West Cherry Street, including re-installing the No Parking signs as called for in the existing City ordinance.