MILTON-FREEWATER -- A group of unhappy neighbors descended on the City Council meeting Monday night to protest a recent spate of parking tickets being written in their neighborhood.
Residents of the Elzora Loop housing development attended the meeting with questions for Council members about the number of citations and warnings they've found on their windshields in the past two weeks.
Built in 2004, the subdivision boasts wide streets, especially when compared to many of the city's older streets, said neighborhood spokesman Kenneth Davenport.
Elzora Loop hosts about 19 houses and has room for another 20 or so, he estimated.
There are signs posted on an island at the center of the loop that tell residents not to park in that area, but give no information about parking elsewhere on the street, Davenport said Tuesday.
"But, according to the police, there wasn't supposed to be any parking on either side of the street. We pretty much followed the laws when it came to parking on the inner part of the loop but were ticketed or given warnings for parking on the outer part," he explained. "According to the (City Council), there wasn't supposed to be any parking on the street for fear that fire and rescue couldn't get through."
True, said City Manager Linda Hall. "Fire trucks are not small."
The law allowing city police officers to write the tickets is not new, but is not always enforced, she said.
t;br>At the meeting, Hall explained to those assembled that an emergency requires the quickest response possible and "the last thing any of us want is to not be able to get to your home with that ambulance or fire truck."
The problem stems from today's trend of more vehicles per family, Hall noted. It's not uncommon for just a couple to have as many as four rigs, "then you have kids starting to drive and they have cars."
In most cases, a family's extra cars will end up parked on the street, she added.
He did suggest the city bring a fire truck to his neighborhood to test out clearance, Davenport said Tuesday.
The city plans to take a look at the situation on Elzora Loop and see what changes can be made to help residents there without compromising safety, Hall said.
Sheila Hagar can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8322. Check out her blog at blogs.ublabs.org/fromthestorageroom.