Police department plans Wednesday meeting to consider parking near high schoolNew parking restrictions are being considered for one Farmington neighborhood, and police chief Brian Lindquist thinks the residents there will like the terms. Farmington High School students, though, may not.
By: Michelle Leonard, The Farmington Independent
New parking restrictions are being considered for one Farmington neighborhood, and police chief Brian Lindquist thinks the residents there will like the terms. Farmington High School students, though, may not.
According to Lindquist, street parking in the area of Hickory Street and the three courts nearby — Westwood Court, Westlyn Court and Westgate Court — has become somewhat of a problem in recent years. The reason? High school students are opting for street parking instead of paying the fee to park in the student lot.
The problem has been on the rise over the past couple of years, Lindquist said. Students do not want to pay for parking at the school, so they drive to the neighborhood south and west of the school property. They park their cars, then walk the distance to the school — even if that means cutting through personal property to get there.
The police department has received numerous complaints over the years. Student vehicles have blocked mailboxes, meaning residents have not received their mail delivery at times. The parked cars block the view of residents pulling out of their driveways, and block access to garbage cans when the garbage trucks come through the neighborhood.
“Both sides of the streets are clogged with traffic,” Lindquist said, “and it becomes a quality of life issue for those residents. Kids are going through their yards, they see an increased amount of litter and garbage along those areas, and there are some public safety concerns, as well.”
To curb the problems, Lindquist is proposing parking restrictions in that area, where no parking would be allowed between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Exceptions could be made, Lindquist said, for residents who live in the area, but they would have to get a parking permit to use street parking, much like the winter parking restrictions now in place.
The students would be directed to park on Spruce Street. Not only is Spruce a wider road, but there are no residences that have garbage collection or mailboxes located on the street from Denmark Avenue to Division Street.
Lindquist knows residents may have some concerns, which is why he has planned a neighborhood meeting on the subject for Wednesday, March 5, 7:30 p.m., in the little theater at Farmington High School.
“It’s kind of an information gathering session. We’re making sure this is the most appropriate way to deal with the problem,” Lindquist said.
Barring serious objections from the residents involved, Lindquist plans to take the proposal to the Farmington City Council for approval at either the March 17 or April 7 meetings.
Lindquist admits the parking ban may be temporary — after all, once the new Farmington High School opens and the current FHS is made into a middle school, it is unlikely student parking will be a problem. At that time, he said, the parking situation will be reevaluated and the ban will be lifted if that is appropriate.