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Crown Avenue parking quandary resolved

Five spots near Flintridge Prep and St. Bede's will remain legal, but only on weekends.

March 18, 2011|By Joe Piasecki, joe.piasecki@latimes.com

Flintridge Prep parents and St. Bede’s churchgoers left confused for months over conflicting parking restriction for five prime spots along Crown Avenue finally have a clear answer: It’s OK to park, but only on weekends.

Back in November, city officials sought to accommodate churchgoers by striping five new parking spaces on the east side of Crown between the Flintridge Prep parking lot’s two entranceways — a small stretch of pavement where parking had been forbidden for more than a decade.

What officials forgot to do, however, was remove a pair of “No Stopping Anytime” signs declaring those same spaces illegal, leaving a bit of a head-scratcher.

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On Wednesday, the head of parking enforcement for the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station and a representative of Flintridge Prep pressed members of the city’s Public Works and Traffic Commission to make a call one way or the other.

“I wanted to know how to advise people when they see me out there. I’ve had more than 20 people asking me,” explained Flintridge Prep Security Manager Michael Lyman, who was concerned that having cars parked along the east side of Crown while children are arriving at school dangerously reduces roadway visibility and safety.

Lyman took his case to Sheriff’s Sgt. Mark Slater, who in turn petitioned the commission for direction.

In the end, commissioners unanimously decided St. Bede’s parking needs and Flintridge Prep’s concerns that parked vehicles dangerously reduced roadway visibility on school days could both be addressed, ordering new signs that prohibit stopping on weekdays but allow for parking on Saturdays and Sundays.

New signs that read “No Stopping Monday Thru Friday” will go up within a month, said city Traffic Engineer Erik Zandvliet.

Until those new signs are in place, however, the “no stopping anytime” restriction remains in effect, though the Sheriff’s Department will likely refrain from ticketing weekend users, Zandvliet said.

Commissioner Clyde Hemphill was first at Wednesday’s meeting to advise steering clear of an all-or-nothing approach to the controversial parking situation, suggesting time restrictions instead.

“I don’t like giving up parking spaces. It’s a bad practice,” he said before commissioners settled on the weekday ban.

Zandvliet said the decision will prevent traffic bottlenecks on busy weekday mornings, when traffic volume peaks at more than 550 cars per hour. Plus, he said, “We gained five parking spaces on the weekends, which will benefit the church and any users of Flintridge Prep on the weekend.”

Lyman said Flintridge Prep will continue to advise parents to drop their children off in the school’s parking lot.

“In the parking lot, where cars are stopped or only going five miles an hour, people have time to react to a child dropping their book bag or other situation,” Lyman said.
 
 

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