A recent thread on Facebook caught my attention over the weekend.
A friends hubby was given a ticket in the Main Street area where all the construction is going on.
It seems that he was going to the Plestex Theater to get popcorn on Friday night. (Hey, dont judge, I have bought my share of Plestex popcorn to take home, too!)
As he was leaving the First Baptist Church late in the evening, he turned down Main to get to the theater and was pulled over by the police and given a ticket.
The signs posted are very confusing. Road closed to thru traffic and Open to local business seem to contradict each other.
So which is it?
A quick call to our Chief of Police Ronald Sanchez explains it.
Say that you are heading north on Smith Street and turn down Johnson Street towards Main, said Chief Sanchez explaining a scenario.
You want to go eat at El Castillo and this is legal to do so. The minute you cross Main Street to go to the theater, you are in violation, he continued.
That extra few feet turns your route into thru traffic which means … the road is closed.
I can see where abiding these signs would be beneficial especially at night. I was going to a downtown business one day and there was about a foot wide and foot deep area near the sidewalks and crosswalk on Main and Johnson where damage could have been done. Luckily this was during the day and could readily be seen.
And while giving citations is the prerogative of the law enforcement officer, I feel that a warning would be more appropriate, especially if they are trying to shop at these businesses. Negative reports could very well inhibit shoppers from visiting these shops and with the holiday season approaching, it is not a good thing for them nor the city (sales tax = dollars for city coffers).
Also, if you have received a citation, Chief Sanchez was quick to point out that signing the citation doesnt mean you are guilty of the infraction. It means that you will show up before the judge to plead your case. You are able to plead not guilty and have a trial by jury in Municipal Court.
The way I see it, admittedly, I have unknowingly broken the law during this construction phase. It is very confusing and hopefully it will all be completed very soon.
I am happy to report that asphalt has been laid on the south portion of the street.
The elementary school did post on Facebook that the north entrance to the park (Main and Bensdale) will be closed for student drop off and pick-up but that the Adams Street entrance to the park is open. Be sure you approach it correctly, though. No thru traffic, remember?