Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Thursday, May 17, 2007

"Residents' voices shouldn't go unheard"

If you would like to sign the petition referenced in the editorial below from today's Moscow-Pullman Daily News, please click here.
It shouldn't take a tragedy to bring change.

That could be the case in Pullman, however, if the City Council doesn't take appropriate action regarding parking revisions on the section of Larry Street that runs past Pullman High School's baseball field.

Anyone who has attended a Greyhound or American Legion baseball game at the field can attest congestion is a problem. Cars parked on both sides of the street leave little room for traffic flow in either lane, and little or no room for bicyclists and pedestrians.

A group of Military Hill residents took their concerns to the council last month. The council weighed the input and decided to restripe Larry Street. The changes will allow 7.5 feet of parking space on either side of the road and 11-foot lanes for traffic.

That's a start, but it's not enough.

The group has responded by circulating an online petition seeking further changes. The goal is to have the south side of the street designated as a no-parking area.

City and Pullman School District officials are considering other potential ways to mitigate the problem, including building a path from the high school parking lot to the ballfield bleachers to encourage off-street parking.

There's no better encouragement than making some on-street parking illegal.

"I've had close calls where I have to come to a complete and instant stop to avoid hitting people," said Susan Forbes, a Valhalla Street resident who has signed the petition. "It just seems like it's going to be a matter of time before a serious injury or accident occurs."

The concerns of residents alone should be enough to sway the council. As of today, 49 people have signed the petition, most of whom likely live in the area or drive along Larry Street on a regular basis.

They know the situation better than anyone else, and their collective voices shouldn't go unheard.


Satanic Mechanic said...

I think Pullman will listen to you. I remember when I lived on Arcadia and Copper Basin wanted to put in Phase 3 and 4 with townhouses and apartments, in other words student housing. Copper Basin wanted to rezone (R2 to R3?) my backyard to accomodate it and the neighborhood rose against the developer.
Yes, I am guilty of being a NIMBY/drawbridger once in my life. I did not want students in my backyard. My neighbor's gave speeches at the hearing, I gave a speech worthy of Nikita Khruschev (minus the banging of the shoe and threat of nuclear ahniliation) and the council did not allow the rezoning to take place.
I think the council will be receptive to your idea, especially since those homes are SELville.
I can talk to you offline about the guy who had Larry around the football field zoned yellow and another idea Pullman has not addressed about Paradise Ridge for the last seven years.

Tom Forbes said...

Thanks SM! I'll be waiting to hear from you.

In reviewing the minutes from the City Council meeting, the approach we are advocating is definitely the most cost-effective and least nanny-statish. All we asking for is a few hundred dollars worth of yellow paint to be sprayed on one curb.

Some of the other solutions proposed at the council meeting were:

- Educating athletic event attendees of pedestrian danger. How?

- Building a path from the high school parking lot to the ballfield. Good idea, but you can't regulate laziness. As long as it is more convenient to park on the street, people will do so.

- Building more parking below the high school. Unnecessary and expensive.

- Lowering the speed limit on Larry. How does that help? The pedestrians are the issue, not the cars passing by. A car going 20 MPH versus 25 can still kill or seriously injure someone.

This effort is not driven by any kind of NIMBYism or snobbery or an anti-sports attitude. It's simply that no one wants to be the first person on the block to run over a child.