Parking problems probed
November 20, 2005
Q: Traffic congestion around the newly enlarged Butte Vista Elementary School on Blevin Road in the Tierra Buena section of Yuba City has become quite a problem this school year. “No parking or stopping” signs are posted in front of an older, obviously expensive home directly across from the school, and officers are issuing tickets to parents who park there. Several of us thought this odd and not quite kosher. Perhaps a dirty politician doing a favor, payoff, or just the good old boy thing going on?
A: Mike Healy, Yuba City Public Works superintendent, said he's heard that theory a number of times. But the signs are posted there for safety reasons, not out of favoritism, he said.
Because the house was there before rights of way were established, the street in front of the house is narrower than in other places. Allowing parking in front of the house would encourage children leaving school to run between parked cars to reach their parents waiting in cars on the other side of the street, he said.
Visibility for pedestrians is better to the north and south where the street is wider, said Healy.
The city has tried to improve safety in the area by painting centerlines on the street and by making the intersection of Blevin Road and Bradley Estates Drive a four-way stop. Other improvements are being considered but congestion is still a problem during brief periods in the morning and afternoon, he said.
The Sutter County Sheriff's Department is in charge of traffic enforcement but the Yuba City Police Department is scheduled take over in January 2007, said Sgt. John Buckland, head of the city department's traffic division. The city is working with the school district to improve safety by adding bicycle lanes and reduced speed zones. Even staggered release times for students are being considered, he said.
“We're trying to improve safety every way we can,” said Buckland.
Enrollment at the K-8 school doubled this school year.
Q: The westbound lane of B Street between Shasta and Plumas streets in Yuba City is posted “No Parking Anytime.” It appears, however, that “anytime” does not include Saturday, Sunday or evenings because cars are always parked there during those times. The offending vehicles not only block the entire bicycle lane, but they extend into traffic lanes as well, blocking views for drivers leaving parking lots on the north side of B Street. I have witnessed numerous near-miss collisions almost every weekend.
A: Buckland said no one has called to complain.
“I wasn't aware of it. I wish someone had called. I'll take appropriate action if needed,” said Buckland, who can be reached at 822-4795.
Since You Asked runs on Sundays. It is written by reporter Rob Young. Questions can be sent to him in care of the Appeal-Democrat, P.O. Box 431, Marysville, CA 95901; or faxed to (530) 741-0140. You also may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.