Parking on Two Blocks of Amherst Street Resident-Only

The University Park City Council temporarily designated the 4300 and 4400 blocks of Amherst Street as resident-only parking to ease congestion during construction in the alley between Lovers Lane and Amherst Street at its April 2 meeting.

The 4100 and 4200 blocks were also included in the ordinance presented to the council, but they were removed because a significant number of residents on those blocks were not in favor of the change. The city asks that a clear majority of owners favor resident only parking before making that designation, explained operations manager of public works Jodie Ledat.

The construction is part of the city’s steady program of utility replacement, known as the mile-per-year program, and is anticipated to last for six to eight months. The city is working toward a more permanent solution to parking and traffic in the area, Ledat said.

Seven residents spoke at the meeting, five in favor of the resident-only parking ordinance, and two in opposition.

4400 block resident Charles Bufkin said he and other Amherst homeowners favored the resident-only designation, and he suggested the city consider extending it to Douglas to improve visibility for drivers turning onto that street. He also asked the city to take steps to reduce traffic on Amherst. Commuters, he said, are shortcutting down his street to avoid back-ups on Lovers. 

“We’re just asking you to look into this. We appreciate it. We know we’re landlocked. We knew when we bought the house what we were getting into, but it’s gotten so much worse than it has before,” he said. “And our main concern is safety. Somebody’s going to get hit one day with the way these people speed down our street.”

Homeowner Suzanne Laidlaw spoke on behalf of 21 residents of the 4100 and 4200 blocks who did not want to be included in the ordinance. Non-resident parkers on those blocks are primarily high schoolers, as opposed to retail workers and customers, she said.

“To the concern about those workers coming to our blocks, they’ll have to get there very early in the morning to beat the high school parkers,” she said. 

Also during the meeting, the city council:

  • Changed the name of Goar Park to Centennial Park in recognition of the city’s 100th anniversary. City staff will return to council with ideas about how to continue honoring the efforts of William P. Goar, who served University Park as a municipal court judge from 1944 to 1946, and as city attorney from 1946 until his death in 1947, director of parks and recreation Sean Johnson said.
  • Approved use of the property at 4236 Lovers Lane to support construction in the alley between Lovers Lane and Amherst Street, as well as temporary use of the property at 4141 Lovers Lane for employee parking.
  • Approved a proposal from public relations firm Sunwest Communications to provide support during Snider Plaza construction.
  • Temporarily designated the 4500 blocks of Emerson Avenue and Glenwick Lane as resident-only parking during alley construction as part of the mile-per-year program.
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