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Council OKs parking ban for Elmira street

Safety concerns trumped convenience as Woolwich moved to prohibit parking on a portion of Snow Goose Crescent in Elmira.

This week’s decision by township council frees up space around a school bus stop and community mailbox, a spot where parked cars cause a bottleneck, some residents say.

Reacting to complaints from neighbours, the township proposed to prohibit parking on both sides of a stretch of Snow Goose Crescent running 29 metres south of Kingfisher Drive, ultimately opting for no parking within nine metres of the stop sign on the east side of Snow Goose, and no stopping within 29 metres of the intersection on the west side.

The changes reinforce longstanding provisions in the provincial Highway Traffic Act prohibiting parking within nine metres of a stop sign – a sign will be installed on the east side of the road – and clears the area around the mailbox and bus stop.

Addressing councillors at Tuesday night’s meeting, Snow Goose Crescent resident Scott Willard, representing some of his neighbours, said the street is often filled with parked cars right to the intersection, causing visibility and turning problems, particularly for the school bus.

“There are days where the bus cannot get curbside,” he said, adding it’s unacceptable to have kids getting off the bus in the middle of the road.

“This has been an ongoing issue for the eight years that I’ve been there.”

His concerns were echoed by neighbour Kelly Meissner, who said parked cars would block the view of drivers if kids in the area dart into the street.

“It’s a safety issue,” she stressed.

For others in the neighbourhood, however, the changes proposed by staff pose a problem. As with many new subdivisions, the houses on Kingfisher Drive have narrow frontages that limit on-street parking. Given the space on Snow Goose, the street is an ideal spot for overflow parking, argued Kingfisher Drive resident Darlene Martin, who downplayed the school bus issue by noting the parking is generally in demand on evenings and weekends.

“People have to have a place to park – we need the parking.”

Acknowledging the issue of limited parking, Coun. Mark Bauman suggested changes to the staff recommendations to retain more parking on the east side of the road, while eliminating the issue of cars blocking the bus stop while residents stopped to use the community mailbox.

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