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Safety concerns met with no-parking zones

September 29, 2011

The City Council of Bishop has approved to add no-parking limits near Field 5 at the City Park on Spruce, Bruce and Yaney streets. There are 700 kids playing soccer at the park throughout the day on any given Saturday. Map courtesy of the City of Bishop

Bishop’s elected officials, met on Monday to hear about no-parking zones proposed for areas around the Bishop City Park.
The City Council was told there is a growing public safety and traffic problem growing on Park, Spruce and East Yaney streets every weekend as large crowds come out to watch soccer in the area.
Community Services Director and Interim City Administrator Keith Caldwell told the council that approximately 700 kids participate in soccer games at the far, northeastern field at the park, Field 5, every Saturday in the fall. This does not include the parents, friends and spectators of those 700 kids. Caldwell explained that while all 700 kids are not on the field at once, there is still a parking problem in and around the field.
Parents and spectators are parking as close to the field as possible along the three streets, limiting sight distance for those pulling in and out of the streets.
To alleviate the problem, the city will be trying several solutions that should be in place by this weekend. One solution, approved by the council on Monday, is to add no-parking zones along the east and west sides of Spruce, the north corner of Spruce and Bruce and the south corners of East Yaney. The signs have been ordered, but it could not be verified when they will be put in place.
Public Works Director Dave Grah said the idea is to limit parking around the field and, hopefully people will notice the additional parking available at the field to the west of Field 5. That space has been graded specifically to allow for parking.
“I hate to take away any parking spots in town,’ Councilmember David Stottlemyre said, “but there are just way too may cars everywhere.”
Councilmembers Jim Ellis and Jeff Griffiths both asked if there are any plans to address the parking on the north and south sides of East Yaney and on Hanby directly adjacent to Field 5. Caldwell and Grah said there will be further studies to examine other concerns.
Ellis asked if a crosswalk could be added from the field across Yaney. Grah explained that crosswalks can be very effective, however, these painted lines provide more of a “psychological” feeling of safety for pedestrians than actual protection.
Ellis also asked if another gate could be placed on Field 5 directly across from the field for parking so pedestrians do not have to walk all the way around to the southwest entrance. Again, Grah and Caldwell said they would look into that possibility as well.
At the behest of Ellis, Bishop Police Chief Chris Carter said he would call for extra patrols and maybe even writing a few tickets to enforce the new signs.

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