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Parking Debate Continues at Baldwin Council Meeting

Council members weighing options.

Some residents concerned over potential parking restrictions took their comments to the Council at an agenda meeting on Tuesday night.

Concerns ranged from how to deal with homes that don't have driveways to how to deal with homes that do have them but have too many vehicles to fit.

"We don't have a driveway," said a man who lives on the part of Cloverfield Drive being recommended for a no-parking restriction from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. "I don't know where we're gonna park if this goes through."

The resident encouraged the Baldwin Council to allow the to issue him a permit for on-street parking should that recommended Cloverfield restriction come into place.

Council President David Depretis advised the resident and all those in attendance on Tuesday that the council has not made any decisions yet regarding on-street parking in Baldwin in accordance with a list of recommended restrictions put together by emergency management officials.

The list () allows for  and for , borough officials have argued.

"We haven't really made up our minds what we're going to do yet," Depretis said.

But council meetings, such as a , remain as public occasions for residents to voice their concerns, much like they did when the council decided to eliminate (and keep) several streetlights in the borough.

"I don't want to see us getting fined," the Cloverfield man said regarding parking. "(But) obviously, putting in a driveway is going to be a pretty expensive endeavor."

Another Cloverfield resident, who lives between Edward and Sanda drives, which is being recommended for one-side-only parking at all times, suggested that even that limitation could prove to be too restricting.

"A lot of people have two or three cars," she said. "We are going to be so jam-packed with cars on one side it's going to be unreal.

"And when you have visitors coming, where are they going to park?"

Councilman Ed Moeller acknowledged the Cloverfield residents' concerns, saying, "Well, that street just has to be looked at again. That's why we bring these meetings up. It's a legitimate issue to bring up."

The Cloverfield woman suggested limiting parking during the winter months only—"Nov. 1 through March 31"—as a possible compromise.

Later in the meeting, Kenneth Guerra, the borough's emergency management coordinator, walked council members through a slideshow of borough streets being recommended for parking restrictions and gave arguments as to why the recommendations were made.

Guerra said that the list of potential parking restrictions is not complete and could grow larger.

"This is the first step of a long way to go," Guerra said.

Nevertheless, Mayor Alexander R. Bennett Jr. said that borough officials will have to consider granting permits for residents with special conditions.

"Look at all the different scenarios we have in this community," Bennett said. "We have older areas, newer areas ... a lot has changed. And people have more cars."

Check back with the Baldwin-Whitehall Patch later on Wednesday for more notes from Tuesday night's council meeting, including a debate over lock boxes for fire companies.

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JustMe July 11, 2012 at 10:59 PM
I live in Whitehall and had to dig my driveway out to fit 4 cars when my children started to drive. We also have had no parking overnight since I moved in here, not a big deal pulling your cars in the driveway at night. Castle Shannon just passed this law about 5 years ago and the ones that didn't have driveways or offstreet parking they gave those people parking permits. What I can't figure out is why people don't like to park in their driveways.
MelissaMc July 12, 2012 at 05:29 PM
They need to look at homes near corners of streets (I can name several: Edward and Towervue are good examples) where people park and clog up traffic and make seeing oncoming cars an issue. If you have a driveway, your car(s) should be parked in it. Any other vehicle should be parked AWAY from a corner. I have almost gotten hit at least 4 times because I have not been able to see an oncoming car due to another vehicle being parked at an intersection corner.
JustMe July 12, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Melissa I totally agree with you there. Driveways were made to be parked in.
A neighbor July 13, 2012 at 12:53 PM
I live on a restricted street - parking on one side only - here's the dilema - people on the opposite side do not have driveways and own 3 and 4 vehicles per household. I have a driveway and have to jockey our vehicles in and out - while they leave their vehicles parked and unmoved for days or they park uncomfortably close to the driveway to make entering and exiting a problem. We have visitors who have no where to park - how is this fair? These residents bought the homes knowing there were no driveways and knew about the restrictions - so where is this fair?????
Panther July 13, 2012 at 05:40 PM
If I wanted to live in a gated community with tons of rules and restrictions, I would have bought a home in a gated community. I have a small one-car driveway which I always park in, however, just like "a neighbor", it would be nice to have over-night guests without having to tell them to park 1/4 mile down the road. "JustMe": If you hand out permits, doesn't that defeat the purpose? For instance, everyone on my road that has driveway space utilizes it fully. So the folks that don't have driveways, or too many cars for their driveway space, are the only cars in the street on a consistent basis now. If you hand out permits, the same cars that are "causing a problem" now, will be "causing a problem" when new restrictions are in affect. So the net affect of the restrictions is essentially 0, except now you are inconveniencing residents that have occasional over-night guests. "Melissa P": I've noticed the same issues, and not one street that I see problems on is on the list. Bottom-line: In this economy, Baldwin should really be doing everything they can to keep residents in the borough, not driving them away with laws that really don't solve many problems. Also, I find it ironic that they are considering the parking restrictions in the name of safety, however, just a couple months ago, they eliminated a bunch of street lights, which studys have shown decreases crash risk, in the name of saving money. Maybe it's time to clean house in Baldwin Borough government.
JustMe July 14, 2012 at 12:49 AM
Panther, the ones that doesn't have off street parking or a drive way would be the only ones that get a permit to park in the street. Castle Shannon just went thought this a few years ago and some had to put off street parking spaces in, some people had to make their driveways bigger to fit the cars that they had. We had to dig out 2 parking spaces when we ended up with 4 cars here at the house, since for as long as I lived in Whitehall we had no parking on streets between 2 am and 6 am. Yes it cost money for the permits to dig it out and we had to check for underground pipes for where we were putting the parking spaces and were lucky they were not there. We rented a back hoe and dug out the driveway and then we framed up the driveway the next weekend and had the cement poured. It was a lot of hard work as you couldn't take the backhoe close to the house and had to dig out dirt that was 6 ft high down to where the driveway was. We put an ad in the Pennysaver about free dirt and someone came and took it as we were digging it out.
schleprock July 16, 2012 at 07:32 AM
Per the PA Driving Manual, you are not allowed to park your car within 20 of a cross walk or intersection. So I would refer your complaint to the police to resolve this issue now.
schleprock July 16, 2012 at 07:33 AM
.... 20 feet of a.....
Robert Edward Healy, III August 22, 2012 at 06:42 PM
UPDATE (Parking Restrictions a 'Dead' Issue in Baldwin Boro): http://patch.com/A-xjmF

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