‘No Parking’ decision reversed

Published 10:13 am Friday, January 13, 2012

AHOSKIE – A third revision of a traffic flow plan initiated here less than one year ago has been approved.

Based on complaints from residents living on the west side ofPembroke Avenue, members of the Ahoskie Town Council have agreed to remove the no parking signs on that street. Additionally, no parking signs will also be removed from Circle Drive.

Those two decisions came during the Jan. 10 meeting of the council.

Town Manager Tony Hammond explained the reasoning behind the request to remove the signs.

“The complaints we had from the residents living on the west side of Pembroke were that the no parking regulation was hampering those residents when they had guests to visit their homes,”Hammondsaid. “In light of that, all of those residents had the opportunity to state their case when we held a public hearing last year about this whole traffic flow plan in the entire southwestern quadrant of town. Honestly we had very few people attend that public hearing and now the mayor and I have had six people approach us about removing the signs.”

Hammondreminded council members of the traffic flow study the town launched in March 2009. That study was performed by the Wooten Company and Gibson Engineers, the results of which were first shared with the council in July of 2009.

The study centered around parking problems and traffic congestion in and aroundRoanoke-ChowanHospital. Letters were sent to all property owners in that part of town, advising them of a series of public hearings to be held. Town Council, in March of last year, approved several new regulations dealing with traffic flow and parking.

Since that time council members have approved revisions to the new regulations, including a revised parking plan onCamlin Streetand the removal of no parking signs on one block of Sunset Street near the hospital.

“To be honest there is no issue with parking on Pembroke since the street is fairly wide,”Hammondnoted. “I do not see any significant impact on parking if you decide to remove those signs.”

“We did have several public hearings on this and I noted the lack of overall attendance at those hearings,” said Councilman Malcolm Copeland. “However, I agree that removing the no parking signs on Pembroke will not cause a problem with traffic flow because that is one of our wider streets.

“At the same time, I would recommend that we remove the no parking signs on Circle Drive because no one, other than the residents there, hardly ever uses that street,” Copeland continued. “At this time I will make the motion to take the signs off of Pembroke and Circle Drive and in the meantime ask the council to look at this (traffic flow) map and critique it and look at two or three other small areas we need to address.”

Councilwoman Elaine Myers offered a second to that motion and it was approved without objection.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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