Reverse parking now prohibited in arts center garage

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Backing into certain parking spaces in the city now could lead to a citation.
The City Council Monday unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting back-in parking at the self-park garage at The Center for the Performing Arts. But council members originally were not all in agreement that such an ordinance is necessary.
The ordinance, sponsored by Councilman Rick Sharp, was presented with the intention of eliminating the “12-point turns” that Sharp said are frequently completed in the garage, bringing traffic flow to a halt. Sharp said reverse parking only is an issue prior to events at the Center but needed to be addresses nonetheless.
“The difficulty is when people are (backing into spaces) 15 minutes before an event begins in three different venues,” Sharp said. “That creates a lot of anxiety.”
However, the ordinance came out of committee and back to the council without a recommendation, as some members questioned if such an ordinance was really necessary. While acknowledging that back-in parking has created traffic flow issues in the Center garage, some councilors suggested that common sense alone could solve the problem.
“Why do we need an ordinance for this when we can probably just stick up a sign?” Councilman Joe Griffiths said.
Sharp said this approach would not resolve the issue.
“It does somewhat seem a comment of the times, to pass an ordinance to save us from ourselves,” he said. “The fact of the matter is that people are executing moves for which they are not properly trained…We can’t just put up a sign because then it cannot be enforced. And if it’s not enforced, then we cannot fix the problem.”
After being approved by the mayor, the ordinance is now in effect. Sharp said in previous meetings, however, that signs will be posted in the garage and offenders likely would receive multiple warnings before tickets are issued.

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