Parking troubles could hinder resident safety

City officials are growing increasingly concerned that ongoing parking troubles may threaten the safety of residents.

The poorly designed layout of the city has contributed to a tightening in the availability of parking spaces that is beginning to threaten the ability of emergency services to respond to a call, said Vice Mayor Steve Waldo.

“We’ve always had problems because Brisbane was sort of jerry-built,” Waldo said of the city and its roughly 4,000 residents. Because of its lay-out and the geography of the land, he said, “In many places, (the road) is against the side of a hill.”

At their meeting tonight, city council members will discuss a voluntary residential parking permit program and encourage a neighborhood to take part in a pilot program.

The city currently has a voluntary permitted parking program, but so far, not one neighborhood has asked to participate, according to city staff. The ongoing parking shortage has affected municipal services such as street sweeping, a staff report to the council notes.

Waldo said the “real question” had to do with fire safety.

“Fire engines are a certain width, and if they can’t get through then you’re in deep doo-doo,” he said. “First and foremost, we have to be fire accessible.”

Mayor Cy Bologoff said that the city tried a white-line striping program several years ago, which uses a line to mark the farthest a parked car could protrude into the street, to make sure fire engines could pass through.

The low number of parking spots is due “by and large” to residents using their garages for storage rather than parking, Bologoff said.

“We have such small streets and such narrow streets,” Bologoff said. “It’s going to be a never ending battle.”

The Brisbane City Council meets on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Brisbane Community Center, 250 Visitacion Ave.

dsmith@examiner.com

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