Reverse parking debate
Edmond’s first steps to initiate a citywide master bicycle plan have met opposition from Dr. Brad Fielding, who doesn’t like the reverse-angle parking in front of his office at 13 N University Drive.
Fielding’s attempt to request a variance for the new parking failed by a vote of 3-2 by the city council. Council members Nick Massey and Victoria Caldwell supported Fielding’s variance.
The first bike lane is considered part of the city’s pilot project and happened to involve four parking spaces outside the optometrist’s medical building across from the University of Central Oklahoma campus.
City officials said reverse angle, or back-in-head-out-on-street parking, is the standard parking configuration when bike lanes are adjacent to on-street parking. They said the idea is backed by the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Guide for the Development of Bicycle Facilities.
The parking change is for the safety of the bicyclists and motorists who traditionally depart while backing into traffic, city officials said.
Bike lanes on University from Second Street to Chowning were the first projects developed beginning in 2013 after the master plan was adopted by the council. This segment of University changed from four lanes to three lanes with a center turn lane and bike lanes on the outside.
Fielding said 275 of his patients are older than 70 with restricted vision that is not compatible with backing into a confined parking space.
“The experience in my practice has shown that this reverse-angle parking actually creates adversarial relationships between myself and my clients, patients as well as the city and its citizens,” Fielding said.
Fielding admitted to Councilman Darrell Davis that he rents the parking lot behind his office to the University of Central Oklahoma. He rents 32 spaces and has reserved for his use 12 spaces in the lot behind his office plus the four spaces in front of the medical building.
Councilwoman Elizabeth Waner said reverse-angle parking makes for a safer community, but more education is needed about its benefits.
Council members offered to make the four spaces in front of the building into two parallel parking spots, but Fielding refused their offer.
Eastside commercial recommended
Edmond planning commissioners this week recommended rezoning 13.17 acres on the south side of Covell Road and just east of Air Depot Boulevard from single family to restricted commercial.
City council members will make a final decision on rezoning the property just east of a proposed fourth Edmond high school site at their May 12 meeting. Planning commissioners also recommended amending the city’s zoning plan to allow the property to be rezoned.
The property has a frontage on Covell Road for 1,326 feet and extends east to the second entry street into Covell Valley housing addition. The Hampden Hollow commercial center is on the north side of Covell Road.
Randel Shadid, attorney for developer Aaron Dobson, said the property was planned for commercial when his client purchased the property, but was later changed to residential.
Chris Sooner, 6421 Covell Road, told the planning commissioner he was concerned about the water runoff and flooding of Covell Road.
The water retention area in question is not on his client’s property, Shadid said. He promised to meet all city codes for water retention on the property.
Last day to enroll
The last day to sign up for Edmond Public School’s 2014-2015 pre-K program is Friday at the district’s administrative center, 1001 W Danforth. Children who are 4 years old but not older than 5 on or before Sept. 1 are eligible for the program. For more information, call 340-2277.
Edmond City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.
Watch Edmond runners in the 2014 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon and remember all victims of the 1995 Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building bombing. The event starts at 6:30 a.m. Sunday at the National Memorial in downtown Oklahoma City.
It’s a fact
Edmond Electric is one of 184 of the nation’s more than 2,000 public power utilities to earn the Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for providing consumers with the highest degree of reliable and safe electric service. The designation recognizes public power utilities that demonstrate proficiency in four key disciplines: reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.
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