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St. John’s council considers Airport Heights area temporary parking ban

Coun. Deanne Stapleton asked city staff to recommend suggestions on how to implement a temporary parking ban on MacBeth Drive, Otter Drive and a part of Airport Heights Drive until the Lane Seniors Complex is open.
Coun. Deanne Stapleton asked city staff to recommend suggestions on how to implement a temporary parking ban on MacBeth Drive, Otter Drive and a part of Airport Heights Drive until the Lane Seniors Complex is open. - Juanita Mercer
ST. JOHN'S, N.L. —

Coun. Deanne Stapleton is asking city staff to look at implementing a temporary parking ban on MacBeth Drive, Otter Drive and the part of Airport Heights Drive between those two streets beginning Dec. 1 and ending when the Lane Seniors Complex opens.

She said the situation there is dangerous for children in the winter, and it’s an issue she has been trying to remedy for three winters.

Staff working on the Lane Seniors Complex are parking “bumper to bumper” on both sides of those roads, and because sidewalks in the area aren’t plowed in the winter, children are forced to walk on the street, said Stapleton. 

She said people have been parking on curbs, and traffic enforcement personnel have issued tickets.

Stapleton estimates 400 students are within the 1.6km zone of the nearby school, which means they have to walk or get dropped off. 

“I’ve received so many emails, telephone calls over the past couple of winters that I said, ‘The residents don’t deserve another winter of going through what they did.’”

She said she was told the seniors complex was supposed to open last month, and now she has being told it will be January or February. 

Stapleton has been trying to remedy the situation for the past few years with no resolution, because it’s legal to park on the side of the road. 

“You go to the contractor, they say, ‘Well, I can speak to my employees, but it’s not against the law for them to park there,’ and so they park.”

While Stapleton said the safety of children is the top concern she has heard from residents, there are other issues, too.

“I also have received complaints from residents who have difficulty getting out of their driveways because cars are parked, (and) they can’t get to the mailboxes.”

She said it’s been going on long enough, and a parking ban is warranted.

Council voted unanimously in favour of Stapleton’s request to have city staff look at recommendations for implementing a temporary parking ban, with the ban lifted from Dec. 24 to Jan. 1 so residents can welcome Christmas visitors without fear of getting ticketed.

Stapleton said she’s not sure how long it will take staff to make a recommendation to council, but she asked them to rush it “because we can have snow next week.”

Coun. Jamie Korab suggested city staff also consider that motorists may simply park on other nearby streets in response to a ban on the three streets that are currently affected.

Coun. Debbie Hanlon said she has worked with Stapleton on this issue, meeting with the construction company, residents and schools, but they couldn’t find a resolution. 

She said that’s why they’re asking for the temporary ban, a move Stapleton acknowledged is “not typical.” 

“The children are at risk,” said Hanlon.

Twitter: @juanitamercer_
 

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