By Amy Kent
Herald Staff Writer
FULTON, Ill. —
Students and parents of Fulton High School as well as other Fulton residents living on 12th Street soon will need to find a new place to park their cars.
At a council meeting on Monday, Fulton city officials passed an ordinance deeming the east side of 12th Street a no-parking zone due to safety concerns of the school.
According to Fulton City Attorney Bill Shirk, the location is already designated a no-parking zone by yellow painted curbs, but by issuing the city ordinance and no-parking signs, the Fulton Police Department will have an easier time enforcing the law.
“You didn’t have an ordinance to support it so, as the chief (Dave Bartels) mentioned before, you’ve got to have that to enforce it,” Shirk said. “(So), you’re adding this to your parking schedule.”
Although the council unanimously agreed the safety ordinance zone is in the best interest for the city and the school, some members were concerned that the school bus and parent drop-off traffic would be detoured because of the new parking law.
“So, I would presume that within these two signs they can still stop and load buses and sit there and unload buses and this kind of stuff?” asked Fourth Ward Alderman Howard Van Zuiden.
However, Bartels said that once the ordinance is put to action, it will not allow any parking in the designated area.
“There can be no parking there whatsoever,” said Bartels, adding that officers will be asked to use their discretion when enforcing the new parking law. “If there’s a problem they can tell them to move.”
The item was first brought to the council at an Aug. 19 meeting after Bartels received an email from River Bend School District Superintendent Chuck Holliday citing safety concerns for the students leaving the school and the large volume of cars parked along the street.
To reduce some of the activity along the street, the city created a temporary no-parking order during peak pick-up and drop-off times, but realized a more proactive approach needed to be taken to truly restrict the unauthorized parking.
Now that the ordinance has been passed, the public works department will begin distributing no-parking signs along 12th Street that they feel are the most necessary locations.
“It’s official,” Shirk said.