EAST LIVERPOOL - Citizens who park on city sidewalks are being asked for their input on why they should be allowed to continue doing so.
City Council's streets/lands/buildings committee met Monday to discuss concerns raised by Councilman Ray Perorazio at recent council meetings about people parking on sidewalks throughout town.
Perorazio said that, if council insists that the ordinance prohibiting parking on sidewalks be enforced, "We're going to be the bad guys, but this never should've started."
Chairman Scott Barrett said he actually supports those parking on Lisbon Street sidewalks due to the number of vehicles that have been struck by passing traffic on the winding stretch of street but conceded, "An ordinance is an ordinance," referring to city ordinance that prohibits parking on sidewalks.
A provision in the ordinance, however, appears to make an exception in some cases, such as Lisbon Street, stating, "No person shall stand or park a vehicle, except when necessary to avoid conflict with other traffic."
Barrett said that in the past residents of Lisbon Street were able to park in the alley behind their homes, but its condition has deteriorated so that is no longer possible.
Councilman Sherrie Curtis also attended the meeting and said, "Quite frankly, I am content with (Lisbon Street residents) parking on the sidewalk. Since 1962, I've been driving this hill and have had to hold my breath. This is a matter of determining in which areas parking on the sidewalk should and should not be allowed."
Conceding that Lisbon Street might need to be an exception, Perorazio said residents of Harvey Avenue have to walk in the street to get around vehicles parked on the sidewalk, and committee member Tom Cunningham said people are also now parking on St. Clair Avenue sidewalks after initially people were given permission by the mayor to park there for church.
Now, Cunningham said, even residents who live in the area and have parking spaces at their homes are parking on the sidewalks instead.
"I haven't got a flippin' clue on the reasoning for parking vehicles on the sidewalks on St. Clair Avenue," Cunningham admitted.
Perorazio pondered how the ordinance can be enforced in some areas and not others, with Curtis saying signage stating, "No parking on the sidewalks" can be installed, and Mayor Jim Swoger said the parking bans can be site-specific.
Members all agreed that warnings would have to be issued before a parking ban is enforced.
Before any steps are taken, however, the committee agreed that Swoger will have flyers made and will deliver them door to door in the Harvey Avenue area, inviting residents to the Oct. 7 City Council meeting to make their case for being allowed to park on the sidewalk.
That meeting begins at 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall.