Manchester Avenue and Webster Street residents spoke out at last night's Westminster City Council meeting against a proposal to make part of Manchester Avenue one-way.
The crowd of about 75 overflowed the council meeting room, standing in doorways or sitting on City Hall stairs.
Although most speakers said "no" to a citizens' petition that proposed to make Manchester Avenue one-way northbound from East Main Street to Buena Vista Drive, they expressed sympathy for the problems that prompted the petition.
"The community has gotten too big for its roads," said Steve Crouse, a Manchester Avenue resident who circulated the petition in hopes the city government would allow on-street parking if the street were made one-way.
Mr. Crouse said he lost the parking space he had been using when Westminster Cemetery Co. officials barred parking on a strip of grass at the edge of the cemetery. He said he also hoped one-way traffic would deter speeders on the street.
Opponents cited the potential inconvenience and circuitous routes they would have to take to get around one city block if Manchester Avenue were made one-way. They also cited access problems for tractor-trailers that have to reach businesses on 24th Street.
Buena Vista Drive resident Jesse Lockard said he didn't see why a parking arrangement on the grass strip couldn't be worked out with cemetery board President George Billingslea. "You can't bury anyone there. It's too close to the road," Mr. Lockard said.
Cindy Perouty-Byrne, who lives on the corner of Webster Street and Manchester Avenue, suggested that when Wheeler Chrysler-Plymouth moves from 279 E. Main St. to another location, perhaps the city could buy part of the dealership's rear lot to provide access for Manchester Avenue properties that back up to the lot.
Mayor W. Benjamin Brown said he would hold the hearing record open for additional written comments until July 29.
The council's public improvements committee is to study possible alternatives to problems of parking and speeding cars reported by residents.