A festering parking dispute along one of Hannibal’s narrowest streets may have been put to rest Thursday when Butler Street residents came together during a Traffic Committee meeting.
During the Committee’s Feb. 21 meeting, members heard a resident’s concerns about the Fire Department’s inability to navigate Butler with a ladder truck when vehicles were parked there. As a result, Committee members voted to prohibit parking on both sides of Butler, from Mound Street to Seventh Street.
On Thursday, Butler Street resident Joy Vavra told the Committee that there had never been any problems with large vehicles making it through the neighborhood previously.
Vavra, whose family has multiple vehicles, added that because of the “no parking” restrictions people visiting her home have nowhere to park.
Long-time Butler Street resident, Sara Gorton, reported there had been no parking complaints along the street until recently. She noted her family had graveled its yard in order to have off-street parking.
Lisa DeWitt renewed her concerns about a fire truck’s ability to make it up the street.
Mike Benjamin, deputy fire chief, noted that while it may not have been an issue in the past, it’s a challenge now for the Fire Department since today’s trucks are bigger.
“We want to do what’s best for everyone,” said City Manager Jeff LaGarce. “Is there a middle ground?”
While Gorton suggested widening the street, such an action is not feasible.
Ultimately the Committee voted to continue to prohibit parking on the street’s north side, but to remove the “no parking” signs on the south side.
Later in the meeting, the Committee discussed a recent pattern of having to re-address issues, such as the one on Butler Street. In the future, residents with traffic issues that impact others may be asked to survey their neighbors about possible solutions before their complaint is heard by the Committee.