It’s not just Humboldt State that has a parking issue
Arcata’s Transportation Safety Committee held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, in which they opened up for public comment on city parking restrictions.
Netra Khatri, staff liaison of the committee and Arcata assistant city engineer, thanked the small crowd of about ten locals gathered in the City Council Chamber of Arcata City Hall.
“We decided to make this meeting annual three years ago, where we can take public comments and hopefully make changes from input,” Khatri said.
After discussing minutes from a previous meeting, the committee of eleven opened the meeting for public comment.
The comments varied in severity and scale, but revolved around one central theme: the city of Arcata lacks sufficient parking.
Arcata resident Vernon Price proposed a plan to allow some Arcata citizens to park their cars freely from dusk til dawn. Price said he was unhoused for 15 years, and wanted the committee to keep the homeless in their hearts and minds.
“There are people who have lost their homes, and their only tangible property is their homes—and they live in those,” Price said.parking_map-avenza12-10-2015
The committee noted Price’s suggestion and promised to look into designating overnight parking spaces.
Arcata resident Collin Wingfield brought to attention a parking overflow resulting from the recent construction of the 142-apartment Sunset Terrace complex located between Sunset and Foster Avenues.
Wingfield, who said he lives on Wilson St., just off of Sunset, has noticed an influx of Sunset Terrace residents parking their vehicles along Sunset Ave. and even on his street.
Even though Sunset Terrace residents are allotted one parking space in their complex, Wingfield said residents often park their cars along Sunset Ave., leaving other homes with insufficient parking.
“They will leave their cars parked for weeks at a time,” Wingfield said.
The committee sympathized with Wingfield and discussed possibly issuing parking permits for Sunset Ave. residents.
Arcata Library Branch Manager Susan Parsons brought to attention a lack of parking for library visitors. Parsons said parents with children often have to walk through a lot marked by uneven terrain and frequent drug users.
“Parking for visitors of the library is an issue of safety,” Parsons said.
In response, the committee suggested designating specific parking spots for the library or enforcing time limits on the spaces outside of the library to prevent them from filling with non-library visitors.
Tisha Farrer, an employee of the North Coast Co-Op, urged the committee to get rid of parking meters and two-hour spaces. The Co-Op, Farrrer said, reserves its lot for customers only and employees often have to park far away.
“I just want them to feel safe and have parking where they work,” Farrer said.
The committee noted Farrer’s concerns while making clear that Arcata’s parking shortage comes at a tricky time as the city tries to encourage the reduction of personal vehicular use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
TSC will now take the public comments and bring their recommendations to the Arcata City Council on Oct. 16. TSC meets the third Tuesday of every month at the City Council Chamber.