Street Committee says back-in parking on Block Avenue will stay

Block Avenue
Back-in parking section on Block Avenue
Photo: Todd Gill
The Block Avenue enhancement project will soon be coming to a close. The Fayetteville Street Committee Tuesday night voted to leave the last remaining section of back-in parking in place.

Committee member Brenda Thiel asked city staff to provide cost estimates for removing back-in parking altogether after several business owners and citizens complained about the design at an on-site meeting two weeks ago.

City engineer Chris Brown presented two options for removing back-in parking to the committee on Tuesday.

Option 1 would modify the islands on the outsides of the back-in parking area, resulting in the loss of three parking spaces, and would cost about $39,750, Brown said.

Option 2 would not modify the islands, but would require taking up and milling the asphalt. This option would result in the loss of eight parking spaces, and Brown estimated the cost at around $25,000.

Ultimately, the cost associated with making either change resulted in the committee’s decision to leave back-in parking alone.

“I think we’ve already overspent on the project”, said Ward 2 Alderman Matthew Petty. “There’s plenty of available parking for those who don’t want to back in or are not comfortable backing in.”

Terry Gulley estimated the project is currently about 10 to 15 percent over budget.

The Council agreed to remove one “bumpout” at the request of Beaver Electric owner Jimmy Hill, who complained that the design was causing problems with deliveries to his business.

Gulley said without the need to reconstruct the back-in parking area, the project should be complete in two to three weeks.