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Jonesboro to tackle Broad Street parking issue

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

They say admitting you have a problem is the first step in overcoming it.

In the case of parking along Broad Street, in Jonesboro, city leaders have for months been admitting during city council meetings that it is a problem which needs to be addressed. The spaces on that street are mainly used by Main Street businesses that are a block over from Broad Street, as well as the Jonesboro Fire House Museum and Community Center, and a printing shop located on Broad Street.

Jonesboro Mayor Luther Maddox says cars that park on the street have regularly been parked in a way that blocks access to the one-way street from West Mill Street. City leaders have argued for months at city council meetings that the blockage could pose a problem if public safety vehicles need to get down the street.

"You can't get down there half of the time," Maddox said, on Wednesday.

The mayor is scheduled to discuss the Broad Street parking issue with the Jonesboro City Council, during the council's work session on June 6, beginning at 6 p.m., in city council chambers, at 170 South Main Street. As it is a work session, the council is not expected to take any action during the meeting.

Maddox said the parking arrangement on Broad Street will essentially remain the same as it has already been, but parking spaces will be re-striped in an effort to eliminate the blockages caused by cars on the street.

He said there will continue to be angled parking spaces on half of the street, in a section that runs between Main Street businesses and the fire house museum, the print shop and the former Clayton Center. He also said there will be parallel parking on the section of the street that lies between other Main Street businesses and a parking lot that sits next the Clayton News Daily.

The discussions of addressing parking on the street began earlier this year, as the city was getting ready to complete the first phase of its Streetscape project.

"We just figured that since we're doing everything else, we might as well line it [Broad Street] off where we can keep some of these trucks with a ladder hanging out of the back, from blocking the street to the point where no one else can get down the street," said Maddox, citing one such situation where vehicles block the street.

Other items on the agenda for the city council's work session include an update on the Irvin Street drainage project, and discussions on the annexation process; a possible change to the city's yard sale ordinance; a Norfolk Southern safety program that will cause the removal of crape myrtles along the railroad's right-of-way in the city, and a presentation on an adult novelty store which wants to open in the city.