03-16-04 Celina bus drivers seek limit on parking
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03-16-04 Celina bus drivers seek limit on parking

By Sean Rice

A group of Celina City Schools bus drivers have petitioned the city to limit parking on Zillah Street, citing concerns about the road’s narrowness.
   Celina City Council’s streets and alleys committee reviewed the petition with 11 signatures Monday night. The drivers asked the city to ban parking on the west side of Zillah Street during school hours.
   But the driver’s request may clash with another issue on Zillah Street.
   During discussion, Safety-Servcie Director Mike Sovinski pointed out that Zillah Street property owners routinely complain about speeders and have asked the city to reduce speeds on the street. Sovinski said studies show drivers typically drive faster on a wide-open street and drive slower on a crowded street.
   “If you feel like you’re driving in a more confined space, you’ll drive slower,” Sovinski said, pointing out how the requests conflict. “If you restrict parking on one side, it’s only going to get faster.”
   The petition states Zillah Street is narrow and drivers use the street to stay out of traffic. “We haul a very precious cargo, in the interest of safety, we ask you to consider ...” a parking restriction.
   “Is this a safety issue or a convenience issue?” council member Denny Smith asked of the bus driver’s request.
   “I think it is geared more toward a convenience aspect,” Sovinski replied.
   Committee members asked Sovinski to meet with the petitioners to find out all the reasons for the request. Sovinski said he would also talk to some property owners about the request.
   In another matter, councilor Smith requested that city council reconsider the ordinance that prohibits overnight truck parking on residential streets.
   The law states pick-up trucks and vans larger than three-quarter ton cannot park overnight. Smith requested the threshold be raised to one-ton trucks, because the “footprint” left is no larger than a three-quarter truck.
   Sovinski said he would look into the law and prepare an ordinance to make a change.


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