City staff proposed a parking plan that attempted to forge a compromise between the Holly Street residents who have expressed a concern about emergency vehicle accessibility and want restrictions put on street parking and a larger number of residents who favor the preservation of parking.
“This is a plan designed not to make anyone happy,” Public Works Director Steve May said.
The City Council voted 3-2 on Feb. 3 to prohibit parking on Holly Street below Alta Laguna through the hairpin turn at Oceanview and throughout the cul-de-sac. Staff was instructed to return to the council with further recommendations for other sections of the street that are of concern. Mayor Kelly Boyd and Councilwoman Jane Egly opposed the compromise plan.
The staff’s proposal improved access, but did not meet the preferred criteria of the Fire Department: at least a 16-foot-wide travel lane throughout, already narrower than the department code of 20 feet.
The 16-foot clear travel lane allows a fire engine to be parked in the street and still leave room of other vehicles to pass. What about with less than 16 feet, as would happen in some areas if parking was allowed up and down the street, Councilwoman Verna Rollinger asked.
“We have dozens of [city] streets 16 feet or narrower,” the city manager said. “If there was a small fire, the engines would go up; if the whole hillside was burning, no.”
Resident Gary Baker said no parking should be allowed on the street on Red Flag days, when high winds and dry conditions pose a heightened threat of fire.
Environmental Committee member Greg O’Loughlin said fire trucks are only eight feet wide, 10 feet if the sideview mirrors are counted, not the 15- or 16-foot width mentioned by another speaker.
He supported the restrictions on parking on the hairpin curve, but felt the removal of all the spaces propounded in the option to strictly impose a 16-foot travel lane on all of Holly Drive, was a drastic change.
The option would have the effect of diverting parking to adjacent streets, May said.
BARBARA DIAMOND can be reached at (949) 380-4321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.