Residents of a central Pasco development may soon be banned from parking on an adjacent street so trucks delivering oversized poles to the Franklin Public Utility District’s operations center have enough room to make wide turns.
Pasco City Council members will vote Sept. 21 on whether to place “no parking” signs at West Pearl Street and North Third Avenue.
The move to adopt the city ordinance prohibiting parking at that particular intersection comes after Franklin PUD officials voiced concerns.
Delivery trucks have difficulty maneuvering through the neighborhood and making the 90-degree turn because the streets are heavily congested with vehicles parking on both sides, according to Pasco Public Works Director Ahmad Qayoumi.
The operations center is one block north at West Jan Street. The main entrance used to be on North Fourth Avenue across from the driveway for Green Tree RV Park and Mini Storage.
However, when the PUD abandoned its Fourth Avenue access several years ago, the city worked with the agency to extend Pearl Street so it could serve as the new designated delivery route, Qayoumi said.
That roadway construction in 2011 was before the Pasco-Franklin County Housing Authority built Varney Court, a multifamily housing development south of Pearl, along Fourth Avenue. The development created a lot of on-street parking on a “fairly narrow” street, he said.
Qayoumi informed council members at the Sept. 14 workshop meeting that the intersection has become a safety problem for truck drivers moving poles and transformers, and that the PUD requested the signs.
City traffic engineers visited the site on several occasions and noted that vehicles were parking around the intersection and occasionally blocking access to a fire hydrant on the northwest corner. Those parked vehicles reduce the available pavement space for trucks trying to turn, he said.
If approved, the parking ban on Pearl Street will extend 200 feet to the west from Third Avenue. On Third, it will extend 200 feet to the north from Pearl.
The ban will be for both sides of the streets.
Councilwoman Rebecca Francik questioned if “no parking” signs would cause a parking shortage now that there are all those homes at Fourth and Pearl.
Rick White, the city’s Community & Economic Development director, said Varney Court was built with the required parking for a housing development — two spaces per residential unit.
Councilman Saul Martinez said he parked in that area during the opening of the development and he sees how it can be an issue for trucks.
There is no question the council should accommodate this PUD request, Martinez said, since the city created the new delivery route so long trailers wouldn’t pull out directly from the yard onto the main street, not far from the Interstate 182 on-ramps.