members voted March 15 to ban parking on the west and north side of Deerhaven Drive after residents complained that parents visiting Ken Bird Park for youth sports games caused traffic congestion by parking on both sides of the street.
That section of Deerhaven is adjacent to the west side of the park; a parking lot is provided on the grounds on the east side of the park. During the autumn months youth sports teams practice at the park and street parking on Deerhaven becomes an issue.
“A lot of people park there and they should park in the parking lot,” said Deerhaven resident Emily Craigen. “It’s a hindrance to us that we can’t use that ourselves.”
Residents say the additional parking caused visibility problems and difficulty maneuvering through a hairpin turn where the street is only 25-feet wide.
The parking ban will begin 188 feet east of the intersection of Woodhaven Drive to 522 feet south of the intersection of Saddle Creek Lane.
A review by the city’s Traffic Safety Committee supported residents’ concerns about traffic flow with the current parking allowed on both sides of the street and determined that emergency vehicles might have difficulty passing through at the 90-degree curve under those conditions.
Residents told the city they didn’t want year-round parking restrictions, said Engineering Director Erik Morimoto. To accommodate their request, the TSC proposed parking restrictions along the inner curve only during the months of August and September, Monday through Friday and between the hours of 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.
The majority of City Council members decided otherwise, stating that it would be confusing for motorists to have to remember such unusual restrictions.
Councilwoman Cathy Ferguson pointed out that if safety was an issue, parking should be restricted all the time rather than only two months out of the year.
“Two months at certain hours on certain days is discriminatory,” she said. “Either it’s permanent or we don’t do it.”
Deerhaven residents were dismayed at the permanent ban, saying there is little enough parking on the street as it is and having parking reduced to only one side year-round will make it difficult for their own activities when street parking is needed.
“I would have preferred to leave it unrestricted then,” said one Deerhaven resident.
Another said that living along the inside curve of Deerhaven Drive means he won't be able to park in front of his home.