By Kevin Boneske
HOWARD – In response to visibility restrictions and safety concerns with vehicles being parked on the curve of Memorial Drive near Duck Creek Parkway, the village board passed a resolution Monday, Aug. 26, to expand the no-parking zone in that area.
Geoff Farr, director of public works, said parking on the sharp turn in front of two houses on the inside of the curve was previously restricted by the board in June 2016 as a first step.
Farr said there has been an increase in traffic due to subdivisions in the area, and the road is relatively narrow, especially on the curve.
When vehicles are parked across the street from where the no-parking area was designated three years ago, Farr said cars traveling westbound toward Duck Creek Quarry have had to slow down or cross the centerline to pass parked vehicles, causing traffic congestion or safety issues.
Under the no-parking ordinance amendment, which takes effect Aug. 30 upon publication in The Press Times, no one at any time will be allowed to park or leave a vehicle standing on both sides of Memorial Drive, beginning at Duck Creek Parkway and continuing 550 feet northeasterly along Memorial Drive.
Trustee Maria Lasecki, who asked Farr to review the parking situation in that area, said the road is narrow when no one is parking there.
“There is also a significant amount of traffic that comes off of Duck Creek Parkway and onto Memorial (Drive), and vise versa,” Lasecki said.
Though street parking along five houses on Memorial Drive will be prohibited with the amendment, Lasecki said she favors the change from a safety standpoint.
Trustee Chris Nielsen said he agreed with Lasecki, noting he travels on that section of roadway, and also suggested keeping an eye on the parking situation with the road also being narrow elsewhere on Memorial Drive.
“We should keep an eye on it for even maybe another 150 to 200 feet east of that yet,” Nielsen said.
Farr said the width of Memorial Drive was set up be a larger neighborhood street, rather than an arterial road.
“It is a narrower road,” he said. “It’s not a large Cardinal Lane type of road.”
Hunting areas being reduced
In other action, the board favored eliminating three areas in the village near Lineville Road where gun hunting is allowed, two on village-owned property and one where a new subdivision is going in this year.
Chris Haltom, director of administrative services, said Howard allows shotgun-only hunting where gun hunting is allowed on the village map.
Haltom said the board has the discretion as to where to allow or not allow hunting.
“We took kind of the path of least resistance with the ones that we gave you,” he said. “But if you wanted to look at other areas, we could certainly do that, if you wanted to look at other areas to disallow or to allow it.”
Haltom said state statutes include required distances from properties to be able to hunt, but the board would be able to designate areas to prohibit firearm hunting.
He said the areas where hunting is now prohibited also include all the village parks.
Haltom said an ordinance specifying the areas where hunting is allowed in the village will be presented to the board at its Sept. 9 meeting.