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O’Fallon discusses resident request process for No Parking signs

At its March 14 meeting, the O’Fallon City Council discussed a bill that would formalize a process for residents wanting to request the installation of No Parking signs.

Mayor Bill Hennessy sponsored the legislation that was brought to the council’s attention due to an increasing number of resident requests for No Parking signs be installed in areas around the community. Prior to the council’s discussion on March 14, the decision was based solely on a case-by-case basis dependent on the city engineer’s judgment and without guidelines for approving or disapproving requests.

The newly proposed process outlines steps for residents to follow and also provides approval guidelines for city staff. However, the new process still would allow the city engineer to make discretionary decisions if exceptional circumstances arise.

Residents would first submit a request form including support from at least 10 separate homeowners in the area for which No Parking signs are requested. The form would include the signatures of immediate area residents of at least 10 different households, and must designate a single resident as “Point of Contact.” City staff would then verify the names and addresses of the petitioners and ensure all information is valid.

Next, the city would gather traffic and accident data at the identified location to validate eligibility. The process would involve placing onsite counters to track traffic information, including aspects like volume, average vehicle speed and more. The city also would gather the location’s traffic accident data for the previous five years.

The city then would evaluate the findings to determine if minimum criteria are met. Three major factors would be taken into account. If a location has a minimum of average daily traffic of 600 vehicles or greater, does not meet minimum stopping sight distance requirements as stated by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials based on posted speed limits or has an average yearly accident rate greater than one per year based on the five years of collected accident data, the location would be eligible for signage.

If all three criteria are met, the city would install the signs. If two of the three criteria are met and the city engineer feels the signs are warranted, the installation would proceed.

If two of the three criteria are met but the city engineer does not feel the signs are warranted, the city’s engineering department would survey or otherwise verify that there exists among the residents a 65 percent level of support for the signs within the general area and a 75 percent level of support among property owners immediately adjacent to the area. If levels of support are verified, No Parking signs would be installed.

If none of the three listed criteria are met or if residential demand exists without sufficient traffic findings, the signs would not be considered warranted. However, if residents still desire the signs at a location, the engineering department would survey or otherwise verify a 75-percent level of support within the general area for the parking restriction and a 90-percent level of support among property owners immediately adjacent to the area. If the levels are verified, the city would install No Parking signs.

If approved, the request form would available on the city’s website, ofallon.mo.us.

A second reading of the proposal is scheduled for March 28.

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