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Late-Night Parking Debate, Left Turning Light for Irwin Drive and More

Also, a resident asks the Baldwin Council to return a streetlight, and other notes from a June 19 borough meeting.

Late-Night Parking Debate

There is still no resolution to an issue regarding parking in from 2 to 6 a.m.

At a borough meeting on Tuesday night, Baldwin Councilman Larry Brown read through a lengthy list of streets that would be affected by a new parking ban (or partial ban). Check back soon with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch for that list. UPDATE (LIST OF POTENTIAL STREETS): http://patch.com/A-vScy

The parking ban has been , but it is unclear whether restrictions would be permanent or seasonal.

Concerns range from how to pay for the many necessary no-parking signs to how to handle residences with multiple cars but not enough on-property parking space.

 Chief Michael Scott said that something needs to be done regarding the places in Baldwin where on-street parking is cramping roadways.

"They have been so bad I've had to back out in my police vehicle before," Scott said. "From a public safety standpoint, you should probably prohibit it."

The council decided to revisit the parking issue at next month's borough meetings.

"I think we need some clarification of what these lists mean," Councilman Michael Stelmasczyk said.

Streetlight Grievance

South Baldwin resident Sandra Beyer took to the podium at Tuesday's borough meeting armed with an impassioned letter and a petition for the Baldwin Council to return a streetlight taken from Blossom Drive.

Beyer claimed that the  poses a danger to bus riders and other nightly commuters and that the lack of light make a nearby fire hydrant difficult to find.

Council members addressed Beyer's grievance by accounting the problem to a miscommunication.

While Beyer had been told that lights by fire hydrants would not be removed, Chief Scott said that fire hydrants only need to remain illuminated by surrounding light. Scott called the matter a "misunderstanding of criteria."

"I can't give up," Beyer said after the meeting. "It's so dark at night."

Other Notes

  • Baldwin officials will pay $10,840 to install a at the intersection of Route 51 and Irwin Drive.
  • A will be replaced.
  • , the Baldwin Council needs three volunteers for a Shade Tree Commission.

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MelissaMc June 20, 2012 at 02:19 PM
I am so glad that this parking issue was brought up. 2 years ago I had to contact Baldwin as we had a resident on our street parking on the corner near a stop sign. I saw several almost collisions (and was almost in one myself a few times) before the police told them it had to be a certain distance from the stop sign. And now it's happening again on another corner. Most of these residents have driveways so they should be using them. After the huge snow storm my street was a mess because of cars parked in the street. It's a very simple solution--you send out an a notice via email, letter or social media for when the season starts stating they cannot park on the street at all. If they are parked there, then the car is towed at THEIR expense. I lived in MN for a few years and this is how parking was handled, with virtually no issues.
10-4GB June 20, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Why not just limit parking to one side of the street? That way people can still park on the street if they want, and the road will still be clear. I oppose any parking limitations, but perhaps a compromise would work?
Tom June 20, 2012 at 05:18 PM
I have no issue during winter storms to have no on street parking, as it is common sense to move out of the way of the snow plows, but anything beyond that is not necessary.
10-4GB June 20, 2012 at 05:47 PM
Tom - my family does the same thing, we will street park for convenience in North Baldwin, but when it gets bad out we move all the cars to the driveway to avoid getting hit with salt from the salt truck, and to just generally be out of the way. One thing I love about Baldwin is that you are not under the microscope of the borough for petty things like this. It is a waste of tax payer money to enforce little things like this in my opinion. I moved out of Brentwood because you couldn't sneeze outside without violating some rule about the inches your nose has to be above the sidewalk to sneeze. So, honestly I would prefer less government because I have seen what more does and it is really a waste.
Jean Smith June 20, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I have no clue why people don't want to park in their driveways and they park on the street. I can park 4 cars in my driveway and one in the garage. We have 3 cars here and we don't leave any of them in the street. Even when we get company they park in the driveway, unless were having a party here.
Jean Smith June 20, 2012 at 11:51 PM
We get a book in Whitehall about the community and it reminds us in there about parking in the street when there is a snow storm. People should know this anyways common sense. Then it is the ones that park on the street that complain because the snow plows didn't do a good job clearing the street. Do like Mt Lebanon does, during a snow storm you get one warning;. Second time a car is left in the street during a snow storm the car is towed and it is up to the owner of the car to pay for towing plus the impound. After they pay 300 for a tow and impound, bet they won't do it again.
Jean Smith June 20, 2012 at 11:53 PM
What is wrong with parking in the driveway. That is why when they built the home they put driveways in. They weren't put in there for decoration. Most streets only has one side parking, but people ignore that also.
Jean Smith June 20, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Always lived in places that have no parking on street over night South Park, Whitehall and Baldwin Township. It isn't hard to get use to keeping cars in the driveway at night.
bd June 21, 2012 at 12:26 AM
The way I read this article, the police are making this an issue. They appear to be the group bringing this to council.
Jean Smith June 21, 2012 at 01:03 AM
The Police Department wouldn't be making an issue if people didn't complain about others parking on streets, blocking driveways with cars, plowing in the winter.
cc June 21, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I hope they do pass it that you can't park on the street between 2 p.m. and 6 a.m. There really isn't any need to be parked on the street if you have a driveway. I hate driving on roads in Baldwin in the winter because the streets are obstacle courses, because there is snow all over the road that the plows couldn't clean up because homeowners don't know that they should be parking in their driveway instead of the street.
Purple Power June 21, 2012 at 01:04 PM
I am for a street parking ban 24/7 unless with proper permission for large gatherings, etc. Much the same way that Peters Township and USC have in force currently. The premise of I only use my driveway to keep vehicles away from the winter road salt is absurd and makes little to no sense whatsoever. It is like saying there is no winter storm and I don't want to park in Eat n Park's lot, so I will just put it here on 51 South today. The police should also be looking for enforcing the odinance that you can't park on the same side as the fire hydrant either, which they overlook on many borough roadways. Have you ever driven Hollowhaven from Curry to Brownsville? Many empty driveways and cars parked on the street. It is an issue of public safety as the South Baldwin Fire Company travels that road and has to weave in and out of cars and oncoming traffic en route to yet another false alarm in Green Ghetto's. Mr. Brown, we care little about the list of street affected by a ban, use your driveways for your vehicles, that's why they were put there!
10-4GB June 21, 2012 at 01:30 PM
I have lived in North Baldwin on and off for 35 years and never had a problem with this, ever. Never once have I had a problem even with a van or large vehicle navigating the streets of North Baldwin.
10-4GB June 21, 2012 at 01:32 PM
Also the idea that you need a permit to have family come over and park on the street because there are too many cars in the driveway is absurd. What if my siblings stop over unexpectedly, do I have to get an emergency permit!? Just a silly waste of time, just ask residents to use common sense especially in the winter and there is no problem. Are they going to tell me how I can landscape my yard next?
Purple Power June 21, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Just saying that on a lot of streets it becomes a matter of public safety. In Peters, there is a ban and you have to get permission if you are going to have more than three cars on the street in front of a home, so RM, you won't need a special emergency permit for people to come visit unless it is a large gathering. The problem with common sense, is there are very few that have it these days, in this "all about me" society everyone thinks they can do what they want, block traffic no big deal, that guy in the ambulance with the lights and sirens going can get to the hospital a few minutes late, I have to park on the street!
10-4GB June 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I have more than three siblings, and now even some of their kids have cars, so you are telling me to invite them over for whatever reason I need to go to the borough and get a permit? I got a double driveway, but that only fits 4 cars, so you take my 3 cars + the possible 5 visitors, or God forbid in addition to my siblings I have a cousin over then I need a permit? That is ridiculous. How about a compromise where problem streets only have parking on one side of the road? Also, who is going to enforce this? And it will be us paying for the enforcement either by police wasting time enforcing this rather than real crime, or we will need to pay more taxes to have more police or more borough employees to enforce the code?!
Vas June 21, 2012 at 04:52 PM
What about people who don't have driveways? Or people that can get only one car in the driveway? Clearly you aren't seeing the full picture Jean. Agree with RM, been in neighborhood on and off over 30 years. NEVER EVER had a problem with this. Never heard my parents complain about it. Never EVER heard anyone else complain about it You are probably just a control freak. Let me know if you will attend the meeting and I will HAPPILY debate you and clobber you on this issue.
JM June 21, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Just what we need more govt. interference with our lives. Have a small gathering, get a permit. Have a picnic, show your permit. I live in South Baldwin, and have a one car garage and a driveway that could fit two more cars tightly. We own two vehicles, so according to your logic, if we have more than one visitor come over, we'll need to go to the borough to get a permit. Put me in for a permit for every Sunday in football season, for every birthday party, and for anytime family is in the area eating dinner and drop on by to say hello. Common sense needs to take over at some point, I'm all for having no on street parking during a winter storm, because it is common sense. What is the point of making it between 2 AM and 6 AM, because traffic is such an issue during these peak travel times?? Next thing you know, he'll be telling us how great it is that USC is not allowed to post a yard sale sign up, god forbid we damage his property value....
Purple Power June 21, 2012 at 07:56 PM
Vas, could you make your point without having to bash people? Kind of contradict yourself with the all about me and then bashing by name calling. Good points, when you read between the lines. I know of a few instances where emergency vehicles have had a couple issues within the south end of the borough, but mostly because there are so many tax dollars wasted on the false alarms in the Residence area of the borough. I will say reading some of the comments a little more sensibly, it may make more sense to have a one side parking only and then try to keep it totally clear if there is a snow emergency. We are not Peters or USC here, so we might as well live with that. BTW Vas, I am not a stay at home wife, I have kids, two jobs and I volunteer for multiple organizations.
Purple Power June 21, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Just to make a previous comment clearer, it is not about getting a permit, it is simply making a phone call to the borough and then they inform the police that there will be 65 cars on Main Street on Sunday between noon and 6, or whatever time. This way the police and emergency crews know if they are traveling through the area of Main Street, it might be a little tight or busier than usual and they can be more cautious of that. Common sense does sometime prevail, but I am sure someone will disagree and tell me that a 15 second phone call is just too much time out of your day.
Vas June 21, 2012 at 09:22 PM
I can't help but bash those silly vans with the two kids playing baseball and their names. As if anyone cares, but that's another story for another day. Obviously wasn't bashing you (unless you have them, then we can have a separate discussion). Again, if people are parked illegally and vehicles can't get down a road, then by all means ticket them and tow them, I'm 100% for that! But to start banning on-street parking on residential streets because once in a while a vehicle doesn't park correctly-its just a waste. Do you know how inconvenient it is for the rest of us who DO have to put one of our cars on the street due to our limited driveway?? I honestly don't need to notify the fairly useless local government of making moves on private property, I have (as do the rest of the residents including yourself) a lot better things to do then call the borough and waste some clerk's time logging where every single BBQ is going to be on a summer weekend. The fact that our council has the time to waste to discuss this tells me they have WAY too much time on their calendar.
Jean Smith June 22, 2012 at 09:55 AM
RM, what they do out in Peters Township or USC is they have a phone number you call and leave a message that you are having a party and that you are going to have a few cars on the street on Date and approximately what time they are going to be there. Even if you get guest that pop in you call and put a message on the machine. If the cops come by they call the number and get the message and everyone is happy, no tickets are written out.
Jean Smith June 22, 2012 at 09:56 AM
ml you said prior you lived in South Park, and that was a rule out there since the 60's
Jean Smith June 22, 2012 at 10:14 AM
Vas if someone wants to put on their car that they are a soccer parent, a football parent, baseball parent, hockey parent, who are you to bash them. They are proud of their children. In the Patch were not suppose to use letter and add symbols in it to make swear words either, it is against the rules in the Patch. Your just upset that you will have to park your car in the night in your driveway and might have to play musical cars the next morning if you have to leave for work first. Driveways were made to park in them, not on the street. Baldwin said nothing about making you call them if you are having a party either. They want all cars off the streets between the hours of 2 am and 6 am. Baldwin Township and Whitehall has done that for years, and you can only park on one side of the street in Baldwin Township. Most communities also have that rule now and people have no problems. If you don't have a driveway, i'm sure the Borough will make concessions for these people, as they do in other places.
JM June 22, 2012 at 12:27 PM
Jean, Maybe there's a reason we live in Baldwin and not Baldwin Twp or Whitehall, so we don't have to deal with stupid government rules and regulations, maybe we should be happy that we don't have local govt intervention breathing down our throats like neighboring communities. Maybe the people in Baldwin Twp or Whitehall, wish they were allowed on street parking, in case they have a party. I live on a quiet street, and all the time neighbors will pull in front of my house when they have guests over, and they won't say anything if my neighbors pull in front of their house when i have people over. It's more about respecting your neighbors and not abusing a system, like leaving cars on the roadways during a snowstorm, than trying to regulate it.
10-4GB June 22, 2012 at 01:30 PM
Jean Smith - I moved out of Brentwood specifically due to over-regulation like this. I would hate to see Baldwin move down the same path. If a car is legitimately blocking the road tow it. If it is not convenient to go down a road because of too many cars then just have parking on one side of the road. I have lived mostly in North Baldwin for 35 years and have never once had a problem. I have never had a horrible snow day come without me and the others on my road parking as many cars as can fit in their driveway. This may be just a few problem roads, if it is then just say you can only park on one side or the other and the issue is done. No one on my street wants to leave the cars out in a snow storm to be in the way of the plow, or to have accidental damage occur to their car because of the snow removal.
Vas June 22, 2012 at 07:02 PM
Jean, good for them of being proud of their children. No one else cares. Anyways, back on point, everyone on my street, and the next street over, and the next street over have only one car driveways, often without garages. I personally don't even have a driveway. We aren't Whitehall fancy and cant fit our 10 cars in our massive driveway So will I have to sell one of my cars and drive my girlfriend to work according to your rules? Again, you are focused in Whitehall. Not everyone is rich like you and some people work odd hours, have 3-4 driving people in the family and all must have their own car to get to their employment. That means street parking. Again, if people block a roadway, tow them! if people want to park on a street and you don't like the look of it, that's another story. Get over it. Again, let me know if you go to the meeting, would LOVE to embarrass you in this debate. make sure you bring your kid stickered van too. You're kids will now fit in with the 10's of thousands of other unspecial kids who play sports that no one cares about.
Jean Smith June 23, 2012 at 09:12 PM
Vas, In Castle Shannon a few years back when they went to off street parking they had streets that did not have driveways and those people got parking permits to park on the road There are even homes in Whitehall that doesn't have Driveways and they made concessions for those people. But you are very rude. I happen to like to see people that are proud of their kids, shows they take an interest in their children and care enough about them then others that leave their children run the streets. Not all homes in Whitehall are uppity either. I paid to have my driveway dug out to make it so that I could park more than 2 cars in my driveway, at my own expense. I also prefer to keep my cars in the driveway and off the street. Vas please do us all a favor and don't breed, this world doesn't need more ignorant people like you around. And I am very proud of my children and grand children and if I took an interest in my children sports, go to their games, go to my grand children games also. Your parents probably didn't do anything with you growing up and that is why your a bitter person.
Jean Smith June 23, 2012 at 09:16 PM
In Baldwin Township and Whitehall you are allowed to park on the streets, just not between 2 am and 6 am. We all have parties here too and our guest park in the street. Baldwin Township only allows parking on one side of the road. But during the winter months you have to park in your driveways so the plows and salt trucks can take care of the roads.
Robert Edward Healy, III July 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
UPDATE (LIST OF POTENTIAL STREETS): http://patch.com/A-vScy

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