February 4, 2009

Dear People of St. Alban's,

Kiki White, Lorraine Merrick and I just finished meeting with four members of the 300-400 Scott Avenue Neighborhood Watch. The church at is the end of the 300 block. We met about parking. The parking situation has been with us for a long time, but in this very snowy winter has become dangerous. On Sunday morning when we park on both sides of Scott Avenue our end of the block is down to one lane because of the width of the snow plow piles. This forces our neighbors to back up Scott Avenue when they meet another vehicle entering from Meadowbrook and has prevented snowplows from getting through. If snow plows can't get through, neither can fire trucks. When cars are parked clear up to the corner it's impossible to see on-coming traffic when turning from Scott Avenue onto Meadowbrook Drive. There have been a number of near collisions. Our neighbors need us to be sensitive to the situation.

I explained our dilemma to them. We can't pave our property because it would increase our flooding problem. We are getting a lot of heat from cyclists who don't want us to park in the bike lane. Our population is aging and many people have mobility issues, which impacts where they park. It was a cordial conversation, and I agreed to ask the parish to do several things.

  1) Please don't block the corners. Don't park all the way up to Meadowbrook when you park on Scott Ave, or all the way up to Scott Avenue when you park on Meadowbrook. The corners must remain clear both so drivers can see who is coming and also so snow plows and fire trucks can turn up Scott Avenue. The police have asked this of us as well.

  2) New: Please don't park before the first driveway on the even side of Scott Avenue (opposite our handicap parking). We're purchasing cones to put out to remind us all of this new parking procedure.

  3) Please observe odd-even parking on the 300-400 blocks of Scott Avenue. If it's an even Sunday park on the odd/church side. If it's an odd Sunday, park on the even side.

  4) You can park in the bike lane on Meadowbrook and not get ticketed as long as you're not blocking driveways or fire hydrants. The police have assured me of this.

  Let's be good neighbors and keep everyone safe. I know that parking is a real hassle, but it will be worth the effort. I'll also be contacting the groups who use our buildings on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. St. Alban's is a caring community that takes care of one another well. I'm asking that we extend this care to our neighbors.

  Thanks so much,