McMinnville officials will again discuss eliminating the red bollards downtown and widening a turn that could remove two or three parking spaces when they meet Tuesday night.
“Some issues have been raised that there is not enough room for vehicles to turn left onto Court Square from the hill coming from Depot Street,” said city administrator David Rutherford. “The complaints are primarily coming from truck drivers and vehicles pulling trailers.”
The issue has come with a request that officials consider taking away the parking spaces in front of the street’s entrance by the downtown fountain to widen the area to make the turn.
“If the city takes those parking spaces away, they will be able to make that turn,” said Rutherford, in explaining the request. “It will be up to the board if they want to do that. And, if they want to take away two or three parking spaces.”
Rutherford says the “bollard issue” could be included in the decision.
The bollards have been under debate since they were added to Main Street during renovation as a way to keep motorists on the street and off the sidewalk. Also, a truck ordinance was passed by officials in 2005 to keep large trucks away from Main Street unless they must use the street to get to their destination.
Officials considered removing the bollards in August 2008 after an oil spill on Chancery Street was triggered when a flat-bed hit a bollard causing its load to shift and fall onto the pavement. The incident was one of a number of incidents when 18-wheelers have gotten stuck on the bollards requiring a tow truck to pull them off.
Also on the committee’s agenda is an update on filling the vacant fire chief position and the purchase of new fire equipment, relocation of the police department and going out for bids on a new police vehicle, and considering a “no parking” sign request from the Southern Standard. The request is to create no parking spaces across the street from the newspaper office. When cars are parked there, and the drivers can’t be located because they are in the courthouse or another downtown business, it prevents 18-wheelers from backing up to the newspaper dock.
The Safety Committee meeting is scheduled to begin at 6:10 p.m. Tuesday and will be held on the third floor of city hall.