Charles Samuels weighs in on the Broad Street parking kerfuffle (you can read the full story here).
I’ve spoken with some of you since my previous email this morning about this issue, and I wanted to answer some questions to provide clarity on my personal position on this matter. I just want to make sure we’re clear on where I stand going into this next phase of finding a solution with the police department and the administration.
As you all know, over the last several months, I have been in constant dialogue with residents, business owners, and neighborhood organizations (many of you are receiving this email) to discuss how to resolve the ongoing overnight parking issue on W. Broad Street.
As you’ve probably seen, I work hard to make decisions based on research and founded in reason and common sense. I’m not one to make knee-jerk reactions or act impulsively, particularly when it involves the public’s safety and tax dollars. This situation has been no different.
When the problem first arose in early June, I acted immediately to require the City administration to provide a reason within 45 days for the No Parking signs to stay or remove them. That period ended last week with a recommendation from the police and productive conversations with the administration were ongoing. The police department opposes the change and was proposing a different solution, but it has not been adopted.
In the meantime, several individuals have asked me if I have a personal opinion or preference on this ongoing issue. Yes, I do. I think the answer is clear.
My personal preference would be for the signs to be completely removed this week.
The police, the City Administration, the neighborhood businesses and civic associations should monitor the situation for a period of time to ensure there is not an uptick in crime in this area. If there is, we will have to review what steps to take, including posting new signs with different “no parking” hours or re-installing the signs with the current restrictions. I believe the daytime 2-hour parking signs should remain to ensure cars will not “camp out” on Broad.
With this in mind, I also believe the police should be given the opportunity to present a fact- or evidence-based reason for the currently proposed signs to be installed. Again, if there is a valid public safety concern, we should not ignore it.
Let us, as a community, take the time to meet and listen to what the police and administration have to say, and they, in turn, will hear from us. Dialogue and transparency are vital in making major decisions like this.
In the meantime, I am prepared to introduce an ordinance removing the signs if need be, but am hopeful we can come to a collective consensus and resolution without that being necessary.
If we truly are willing to work together, I believe the solution will be better than anyone simply imposing a solution on others.
As always, please contact me if you have any concerns in the meantime. My door is always open.