Town votes to keep parking

Published 7:32 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Members of the Town of Dillwyn voted to keep parking on the curb along its main street during its April 17 meeting.

Linda Venable Paige

Town Mayor Linda Venable Paige said the vote to keep parking at the 1000 block of Main Street was unanimous.

“It was decided, at the last meeting, at the request of the business owners in the town, that the parking remain there,” Paige said.

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Paige said the council first began looking into the parking situation over the summer when she and members of the town council expressed concern about parked cars along the curb and their proximity to tractor-trailers and trucks, which have to veer away from the parked cars. This, Paige said in an earlier Herald report, could sometimes result in the trucks traveling over the center line of the roadway, creating a potential threat to vehicles traveling in the opposite direction.

The town council proposed an ordinance that had a public hearing during its January meeting that would limit or prohibit parking in the area of the curb on Main Street. The curb stretches from the town hall to the Dillwyn Pharmacy.

Six spoke during the January public hearing with three in favor of enforcing an ordinance about limiting or eliminating parking on the sides of the roads along the main street area, and three speaking in opposition to the ordinances and allowing parking to remain as it had been.

Four of the six who spoke during the hearing own businesses along Main Street.

Paige said the council, after the January public hearing, voted to table the decision for 90 days.

The decision to keep parking on the Main Street curb, Paige said, was due to the alternative measures, limiting or prohibiting parking, potentially affecting the town’s businesses.

“The business owners felt they wouldn’t have parking space for their customers,” Paige said.

Dillwyn Pharmacist Terry Towler, of Dillwyn Pharmacy, said in a previous Herald report that approximately three cars could park in the curb area.

Towler noted recent vehicle accidents on Main Street and said more so than the curb, speed had been the issue.

“It’s not parking on the street that’s the problem, it’s the traffic flow,” Towler said, noting Route 15 as a well-traveled area and that motorists often try to exceed the town’s 25-mile-an-hour speed limit. “If they observe the speed limit, it’s no problem.”

Paige said as a result of the April 17 meeting, the town would also look into removing the no parking signs from the corner of Connor Street to the Dillwyn Food Mart at 1196 Main St.

Paige said the town council would make a request to Virginia Department of Transportation about potentially removing the signs. Paige said the signs were first installed when the town was undergoing its streetscape project.

“It seems it was just a temporary measure to not have parking … when we were doing the streetscape project,” Paige said.