GREENVILLE — While Yellow Jacket Drive awaits an extension, parking concerns are increasing as autumn sports are under way.
During Tuesday night’s Greenville City Council meeting, the council voted 6-1 to purchase and install bumper blocks and signs along Yellow Jacket Drive.
Because vehicles park on both the north and south side of the drive during sporting events, over the years drivers have had problem with children and adults walking onto Yellow Jacket Drive from between cars.
“So far, there have been no pedestrian versus car accidents,” said City Manager George Bosanic, but he noted there is always room for more safety precautions.
Through conversation with city staff, including the Greenville Department of Public Safety and City Engineer Doug Hinken, Bosanic recommended to the council placing speed bumps and signs about pedestrians along the drive until Yellow Jacket Drive is extended.
“This is only temporary,” he told the council.
Councilman Larry Moss did not agree with the speed bumps, but suggested looking at the parking issues themselves.
“I understand your reasoning for the speed bumps, but unfortunately I don’t think speed bumps address the real issue,” Moss said.
Moss said although the drive is wide enough for two vehicles to pass while cars are parked on both sides of the road, it’s not speed that is a problem, but the “white-knuckle driving” through the area. He said when driving on the road during sporting events, parked vehicles become a distraction as drivers are trying to pay attention to both the road and making sure someone does not dart out from between parked vehicles.
Moss read quotes he received from Montcalm Community College administrators stating the parking situation was unfavorable.
Councilwoman Frances Schuleit inquired about adding crosswalks to the area, but Bosanic said the idea could potentially fall back on the city if the crosswalks are not enforced and followed.
Councilman Mark Lehman asking about placing strips along the side of the road so drivers know how far to pull off. Councilman Lloyd Scoby suggested adding parking lots.
“There hasn’t been discussion tonight that sounds like a long-term solution,” Scoby said. “Parking lots would be.”
Bosanic said once Yellow Jacket Drive is extended, the issue may be brought back to the council in the future to talk about more permanent options, such as restricting parking on the south side of the road.