Photo by Heather Middleton
By Curt Yeomans
The City of Jonesboro is about to put the brakes on parking cars on one block of a residential street in the far northern part of the city.
The Jonesboro City Council voted 5 to 1, on Monday, to create a "No Parking" zone on the block of Raymond Street, between Ga. Hwy. 54 and Wayne Ave. City Councilman Bobby Wiggins cast the lone dissenting vote.
Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox said the layout of the street made it unsafe to allow people to continue parking on the street, rather than in driveways.
Raymond Street stretches from Ga. Hwy. 54 (also known as Jonesboro Road), near that highway's busy intersection with Ga. Hwy. 138. Raymond Street ends at Old Morrow Road, near a pair of Clayton County Water Authority water towers.
"You come up a pretty good hill when you come off of Jonesboro Road, and if you've got cars parked on either side, and somebody comes around a car, you've got a chance of hitting them head-on before you can see them [and react]," Maddox said. "That [parking ban] is just for safety precautions."
Signs announcing the parking ban on the one block of Raymond Street, which is a total of three blocks in length, are expected to be posted next week, according to the city's mayor. Maddox said Jonesboro Public Works Director Joe Nettleton is on vacation this week, and the "No Parking" signs cannot be posted until he returns.
The affected block of Raymond Street includes only two houses and an insurance business, but drivers coming off of Ga. Hwy. 54 immediately drive up a steep hill which crests just before drivers reach a "STOP" sign at the intersection with Wayne Avenue.
The parking of cars on that steep hill has become a source of problems for other people living near that stretch of the street, said Jonesboro Police Chief Franklin Allen. He said the police department has responded to approximately six documented complaints, as well as approximately six more undocumented complaints, concerning parking on that particular block over the last three months.
"There's not been a lot of accidents, but we have gotten several complaints from residents about the parking in that area," Allen said. "They are complaining that when they are turning off Wayne Avenue, onto Raymond Street, at times there are cars parked on both sides of the street, and it makes getting by pretty difficult."
Allen said police do not receive as many complaints about parking on the other two blocks of Raymond Street, which are the blocks where the majority of residents on the street live. He also said those blocks, which include small hills, have "good visibility" and therefore do not raise the safety concerns that exist on the block that is now a "No Parking" zone.