VALPARAISO | The city's Traffic and Safety Committee decided Thursday to try the gentle reminder approach to educate drivers about not parking in the no parking area on Jefferson Street in front of the Valparaiso Public Library.
Engineering Director Tim Burkman said people parking in the area between the last marked angle parking space and Michigan Avenue make it difficult for southbound drivers on Michigan to see if traffic is coming on Jefferson. The curb on Jefferson is painted yellow to indicate no parking, but some use it like additional angle parking.
The committee debated whether to place a "No parking here to corner" sign in the sidewalk or an A-frame sign on the pavement reinforcing the no-parking restriction or painting hash marks on the pavement to show it is not for parking.
Instead, the committee agreed with Burkman's suggestion to place flyers on illegally parked cars and to have the city's parking enforcement officer watch for and ticket violators to see if that will reduce the number of people illegally parking.
The committee also endorsed the city's plan to seek federal funds for three projects. They include:
- A Safe Routes to School grant to add sidewalks in the area near Northview Elementary School. The city has received grants from this program in the past for Parkview and Cook's Corners elementaries and will be doing Memorial Elementary this year. Public Works Director Matt Evans said he still is compiling the list of places that will need sidewalks, but it will be 8,000 to 9,000 feet. Total cost is expected to be about $300,000.
- A Highway Safety Improvement Program grant for the "roller coaster hills" on Ransom Road. The city is looking at additional lighting, pavement markings, signage and possibly rumble strips to warn drivers of the approaching dips and improve visibility at night. It also would include 1,150 feet of pathway on Goodrich Road and a portion of Ransom from Goodrich east to the existing pathway. Burkman said the city is seeking a 90 percent grant for the estimated $522,500 cost of the project. The city applied for this project previously, but Burkman said all the applications had to be rejected because of a technicality and new grant requests sought.
- A Transportation Alernatives Project grant for LaPorte Avenue from Legend Drive to Porter's Vale Shopping Center. Burkman said people already are walking to the shopping center to go to the movie theater and to Ivy Tech despite the lack of sidewalks. The sidewalks will make it safer for both, he said. Total cost is expected to be $714,000 with 80 percent to be paid by federal funds.