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Split council nixes parking prohibitions on Oriole Pkwy.

[File Photo]

Parking restrictions proposed for stretches of Elmira’s Oriole Parkway have been scrapped, at least for the time being. The same is true of the plans to reinstall traffic bollards put in last spring then quickly removed following public complaints.

A vote at Woolwich council Tuesday night ended in a draw, killing a staff recommendation to ban parking on both sides of Oriole Parkway West in the area of Goldfinch and Tanager streets, Meadowlark Road and Mockingbird Drive.

“Taking away everybody’s parking doesn’t make sense,” argued Coun. Patrick Merlihan. “I think this is a mistake.”

An advocate for traffic-calming measures, Merlihan said this project was warranted.

While he’s had complaints about speeding from residents of other streets, he’s never heard from anyone on Oriole Parkway. He noted, however, that residents did raise concerns about losing on-street parking after receiving notices from the township about the proposed parking restriction.

“I don’t feel it’s a priority street,” said Merlihan of the plans, adding on-street parking has a traffic-calming impact on drivers.

He was supported by Coun. Murray Martin, who opposed putting in bollards along the sides of the road, saying drivers find them to be a “nuisance.”

“I don’t think they’ll be effective.”

Addressing speed issues, Merlihan said Oriole Parkway is one of just two streets (the other is Woolwich Street in Breslau) that aren’t community safety zones where the posted limit is 40 km/h. If the speed limit was 50 km/h as is the norm on every other urban street, there wouldn’t be a speeding issue – speed monitoring found drivers travel at about 54 kilometres per hour.

“There is no speeding problem if you put the road at 50.”

But other councillors didn’t move to make such changes, with Coun. Scott McMillan arguing for more streets to have their speed limits dropped to 40 km/h. He was joined by Coun. Larry Shantz in opposing an increase on Oriole Parkway.

Merlihan noted Oriole Parkway is a long street, with different traffic flows at point.

“If we want to be consistent … make that area a community safety zone,” he said of the portion of Oriole Parkway near Park Manor Public School.

With council’s decision August 11, no traffic-calming measures will be carried out on the street, but engineering staff will be looking at the issue with an eye towards bringing another report to council.

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