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Carole Estabrook

Auburn City Councilor John Camardo is hoping to repeal an ordinance that mandates alternate-side street parking year round. Camardo's proposal would maintain alternate-side parking only during the winter months to allow for snow plowing and snow removal.

Year-round alternate-side parking was enacted in October 2010 after failing to pass on two previous occasions. The ordinance finally passed on the grounds that year-round alternate-side parking would make it easier for fire and rescue trucks to maneuver the city streets.

I hope the rule is overturned in favor of Camardo's suggestion. I live across the street from a busy park. When I come home from work in the warm months, I often have to park my car around the block. I don't mind the walk, but parking my car out of eyesight and earshot overnight makes me very nervous, especially as I have had my car vandalized in the past.

As for the ability for fire and rescue trucks to safely navigate city streets, surely alternate-side parking could remain in place on streets narrower than 66 feet, the few streets that pose a problem.

I also think the decision was short-sided, especially given the increased number of tourists that the Musical Theatre Festival is sure to bring to Auburn. Has anyone considered where these tourists are going to park their cars?

I highly doubt that municipal services like street cleaning and the collection of yard debris would take precedence over the need for parking spaces, residential or not.

I also feel this rule doesn't take into consideration the needs of renters who don't always have the luxury of off-street parking. And people who rent make up a large percentage of those parking on city streets.

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I suspect that year-round alternate-side parking may have been motivated by the additional revenue collected from parking tickets.

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Mind you, I don't thumb my nose at the law. But if I am out dining, shopping or taking in a musical with my friends, I can't always count on being home at 6:30 p.m. I would think that the city would want me out spending money instead of rushing home to move my car.

I know the city went around and around getting alternate-side parking enacted.

But I hope that council will keep an open mind in reconsidering the issue.

Estabrook's column appears Mondays and she can be reached at estabrookcarole@yahoo.com.

 

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