Saturday, April 21, 2007

Reduce the yellows!

We've been reporting back to residents today on possible solutions to some of the area's parking problems.

Earlier this year we circulated surveys on the Booths Farm estate and the Wensleydale/Sandringham area. Both areas have narrow roads, grass verges and yellow lines.

Already hundreds of residents have invested in drop kerbs and we believe this gives an opportunity.

The council has been already been running a pilot scheme in the south of the city to reduce the number of yellow lines. In Great Barr they were installed about 20 years ago because of the amount of on-street parking which made roads impassable for emergency vehicles.

Now households have many more cars but they also have front drives. What is irksome is that yellow lines mean many residents or their visitors are fined for parking on the drop kerb part of their front drive.

On Booths Farm residents voted overwhelmingly for reduction of yellow lines. In the Wensleydale/Sandringham area the response has been the opposite - these roads are that much narrower and more congested. So we're asking the people on Booths Farm to sign petitions in favour of reducing the yellow lines which a view to getting the city's pilot scheme here next.

Another idea being put forward by the local MP is to install plastic meshing on the grass verges to enable parking on them. There's a few problems with this including:

  • it would save some grass but hardly improve the appearance of the area. We succeeded last year in getting the council to agree to reinstall "no parking" staves on grass verges - and many residents have requested these in front of their homes. These are people who do NOT want cars parking on the grass in front of their homes;
  • it would remain illegal to park on the verges where the yellow lines remained;
  • the drop kerbs that are installed allow people to drive over the kerb and the pavement without causing damage. It seems unlikely that plastic meshing would prevent the stone kerbs from damage - and too many people who park on the verges seem to use the pavement to get there;
  • the pictures that have been printed along with other people's reports of this technology and common sense suggest the grass would still get damaged;
  • you don't want to clear the road of all cars. If you open up wide avenues, you create race tracks. Some on-street parking helps to slow traffic and prevent dangerous driving - and already hundreds have signed our petitions for 20mph zones. Quite a few of these have been submitted to the council, road by road.
That's not to say there may not be one or two locations where this might be worthwhile. But maybe we should wait after the election for a sensible discussion about the costs and who's going to pay!

1 comment:

Betty said...

Because of double yellow lines and many dropped kerbs, there is very little on-road parking space in Derrydown Road. I think the obvious solution would be to allow parking across dropped kerbs and remove the yellow lines.