Parking holiday nixed

The Pleasanton City Council voted against directing the city manager to speak with the PISD Superintendent on a parking holiday during the duration of graduation. The motion was made by Pleasanton City Councilwoman Jeanne B. Israel at the June 21 meeting. She was the only member voting in favor of the parking holiday on Stadium, Jolly, Long and Bluebonnet Streets.

Israel began by saying she was excited to see the parking ordinance being enforced. She wanted to see if there were any objections to a parking holiday.

Councilman J.R. Gallegos said he agreed with the holiday, but not with the signs even being there. Gallegos said he stated this a few years ago, back when it was voted to make the area around the junior high a no parking zone. He said they should not wait a year to enforce an ordinance.

“It’s a real big inconvenience for people. During football season, etc. they may be parked out there two or three hours and you are limiting a lot of parking. They have had to go elsewhere for parking,” said Gallegos.

Pleasanton Police Chief Gary Soward said that the school built a lot of things in that area without even thinking about parking.

“We now have an ordinance that passed for that. I think by having a holiday, we are defeating the purpose,” said Soward.

He reminded council that the ordinance was passed because when cars are parked there, emergency trucks cannot get through. Soward said he would not want to be part of a lawsuit if someone were to get hurt because they could not get through. His stance was that there not be a parking holiday.

Mayor Powell said if you look at all of the facilities, there probably is a lot of area to park. He suggested PISD explain where these parking areas are.

Soward said during graduation this year he spoke to a man who admitted that he saw the sign, but he parked there because he did not want to park too far. The man also explained he did not want to park further away because there are not any lights. The school may want to look into placing lights to deter crime.

Gallegos suggested revisiting the issue. He said he agreed with Soward, but that Kilgore Street is more narrow.

“You are forcing people to park on Kilgore on both sides and that street is less wide, so you will really have problems getting a fire truck through there,” said Gallegos. “We can’t enforce an ordinance just when we want to and then say, no we decided to not enforce it today.”

This is not fair to the citizens or the Police Department, said Gallegos.

Mayor Powell reiterated that it is a safety issue. Soward said Gallegos was right about the parking on Kilgore and there are things they could do about that, too.

City Manager Pearson suggested an overall parking control traffic plan. He said perhaps he and Chief Soward could meet with the PISD Superintendent and Transportation Director and come to a more comprehensive agreement on the issue.

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