On-street parking is creating traffic and potential safety issues near a school zone in Sunbury.
The road is Heartland Meadows Drive, which is next to General Rosecrans Elementary. There have been reports of traffic stacking and a lack of space on the roadway prior to the start of classes, and when school lets out. It’s part of a busy intersection, with Miller Drive wrapping around the school. Drivers can also drive through Heartland into the Sunbury Mills Plaza.
Even though there are no parking signs, and parking was prohibited on the east side of Heartland Meadows last year, the ruling has not been enforced.
At the Aug. 21 Sunbury Village Council meeting, several visitors spoke on the issue. Chris Davis, representing the nearby Sunbury Mills Condo Association, said his preference would be limited no parking signage; an opinion echoed by others.
During the Sept. 4 council meeting, Engineer Dave Parkinson, of CT Consultants, said he’s been monitoring the situation.
“I saw everything that people said,” Parkinson said. “It’s not really a big issue, it’s not pervasive. It’s the thru-drivers that are least patient,” referring to motorists who are not dropping off or picking up their children. He said the parents of schoolchildren were extra careful when driving on Heartland Meadows.
Staff and council members suggested the no parking signs be changed to no parking during school hours (7 a.m. to 4 p.m.), or from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Solicitor David Brehm said if this were to be enacted, police would need to be available during those times to enforce it, and the village would be responsible for the towing, since it is on a public street.
“The hour route would solve the problem,” Brehm said. “I think it will work because I don’t think too many people will get towed more than once.”
Mayor Tommy Hatfield said he hoped to get the opinion of Sunbury Police Chief Robert Howard on Heartland Meadows at the next council meeting on Sept. 18.
The village also operates a park by GRE, and there have been insurance safety concerns regarding recently-installed fitness equipment.
“While we have pulled four pieces of equipment from the park, we are hopeful we can replace them with the new signage or perhaps install different equipment,” writes Administrator Allen Rothermel in his Sept. 4 report. “We are planning to pour a hard surface around the equipment in two islands of five pieces of apparatus each.”
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.