Parking concerns prompt discussion in Purdy

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Business activity creates visibility issues at Washington, Front

Parking issues around the southeast corner of Washington and Front streets in Purdy prompted an extended discussion at the recent Purdy City Council.

Catalyst Company, a rice milling operation run by Pat Mareth, is part of the Project Genesis program. Operations involve regularly receiving shipments of rice and milling contents with other agriculture products, which may be otherwise considered as waste, to create new and 
useable byproducts.

Tractor trailers backing into the plant initially blocked traffic on Commercial Street. At the request of the city, Catalyst built a second loading dock off Front Street. According to a neighbor, Joe Hilton, truck drivers have not consistently disengaged their cabs from their trailers, as requested by the city, to keep the street open. Hilton expressed less concern about trucks unloading, which takes approximately one hour. With the cab removed, northbound traffic can proceed with a clear view. His concern focused on trucks parked on Washington Street for days at a time, sometimes all weekend, blocking visibility for traffic on Washington that turns onto Front.

The combination of the two, when a cab and trailer together blocking one lane of traffic on one side of Front Street, creates a scenario when a westbound vehicle on Washington may turn onto Front and directly into the path of an oncoming unseen vehicle. Parking was previously banned on Front Street to keep the road clear. Police Chief Jackie Lowe said he periodically has to remind customers for the nearby flea market to not park on Front Street 
as a precaution.

"My main concern is a child on a bicycle coming around the corner," Hilton said. "I don't want to see someone get hurt up there."

Aldermen echoed the concern about trailers parked for extended periods near the intersection and agreed the time needed to unhook a cab from a trailer parked for loading would not inconvenience the company in light of the safety added. Lowe agreed to take the city's concerns back to Catalyst.

Aldermen previously limited parking around the northeast corner of Washington and Front due to visibility resulting from angle parking around the Utopian Bean coffee shop.

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