Diagonal parking puts squeeze on Franklin

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Posted: Monday, March 18, 2013 12:00 am

The City of Bellevue says residents have concerns with the diagonal parking along Franklin Street in Olde Towne.

Large trucks can extend out into the streets, said interim Public Works Director Jeff Roberts.

The obstruction can cause safety issues for other drivers, who will have a narrower view of oncoming traffic.

“It creates more parking spaces,” said Dennis Kelly, whose wife owns Mama Kelly’s at 2223 Franklin St.

“The only drawback is you can’t see very well when you back out. You have to be alert and aware of your surroundings.”

Parking farther north on Franklin Street at Washington Park includes warning signs, which prohibit parking with an oversized vehicle. Violators may receive a $50 ticket.

The area stretches on Franklin Street from Mission Avenue north to 19th Street.

Olde Towne shop owners decided late last year the change from parallel to diagonal parking would increase business and parking spaces.

However, the change makes it difficult to plow snow.

Two inches of snow — far less than Sunday’s 7-inch snowfall — creates an automatic parking ban along Franklin Street. Other Bellevue motorists are required to move their vehicles during a snow emergency.

Streets Department Director Bobby Riggs said crews generally pile snow along the double yellow lines in the middle of the street and haul it away later.

The piles are often 7-feet wide, which makes it difficult to maintain two lanes of traffic when cars are parked diagonally. Removing vehicles when plowable snow falls is the best option, he said.

Dennis Wilfong, owner of Bellevue Printing Co. at 2208 Franklin St., said he didn’t have any complaints with the city’s snow removal on Sunday.

“They don’t sleep,” he said of plow drivers. “It’s still been smooth business.”

He said the city quickly removed snow from his storefront and nearby parking stalls.

“Since they’ve changed it to diagonal parking, they still get it done,” he said. “The city is on top of snow removal.”

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