Eau Claire neighborhoods located next to large businesses are asking for the city’s help with employee parking that spills onto streets in front of their homes.
The City Council will consider on-street parking restrictions tonight for residential streets near Mayo Clinic Health System and B&B Electric.
“When we moved into that house, it was a quiet area with a mix of renters and owner-occupied homes,” James Seymour, a Congress Street resident since 1993, told the council during Monday night’s public hearing.
But he said during the past 15 years his street and others in the Randall Park neighborhood near Mayo Clinic’s main campus have turned into a big parking lot for health care employees on weekdays.
Cars lining those streets have resulted in less snow removal, street sweeping and road maintenance, Seymour said, as well as difficulties for service vehicles, delivery trucks and guests visiting homes.
Proposed tweaks to parking laws near the campus would keep one side of streets open for just two-hour parking on weekdays but the other side available for employees.
The parking restrictions would apply to the south sides of Fulton, Congress and Union streets and the east side of Sixth Avenue. The opposite sides of those streets would allow all-day parking except for Fulton, where there is no parking on its north side.
“It’s not the best solution, but it will help alleviate some of the parking problems in our neighborhood,” Seymour said.
If approved today by the City Council, signs with the new parking restrictions could be put up as early as next week, city engineer David Solberg said. If the restrictions are a success, they could be spread elsewhere in the neighborhood where residents have issues with overflow business parking.
A small neighborhood on Eau Claire’s north side has similar problems and wanted parking limits on its street as well.
Residents of Briggs Avenue petitioned the city for a two-hour parking limit on one side of their street due to vehicles tied to nearby B&B Electric. Briggs Avenue homeowner Bruce King said big trucks, trailers and other large vehicles often take up both sides of the street, which gets effectively shut down when there’s a delivery truck making a drop-off.
B&B Electric has grown in that location, now employing about 350, Solberg said. While employees mostly work elsewhere or stop by the business and go to a job site, he said, the company’s lot has only a few parking spots.
“It’s a difficult situation there,” Solberg said, noting the lack of vacant land nearby for additional parking.
He added that city police are proposing no parking along the one side of Briggs Avenue that has houses. But King said the tendency for ice to build up in winter on certain parts of Briggs Avenue makes restrictions on the opposite side of the street more practical.
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EAU CLAIRE CITY COUNCIL »Meets at 4 p.m. today in the boardroom at the county Courthouse, 721 Oxford Ave.