Entrance to Moulter Street off E. Seneca Street in Manlius. (photo by Lauren Young)
By Lauren Young
The Manlius Board of Trustees held a public hearing last week for a proposed local law banning parking on Moulter Street in the village.
Mayor Paul Whorrall said the board has received concerns from some residents on Moulter Street, located off E. Seneca Street, regarding trouble getting in and out of driveways and cars blocking driveway entrances.
“It’s a narrow street to begin with,” Whorrall said during the board’s Jan. 23 regular meeting. “Especially in wintertime when there’s cars parked on the street, and emergency vehicles and snow plows can’t get through the street safely.”
The mayor cited the once-a-year holiday party that occurs at Manlius Assisted Living as the biggest compliant regarding parking, as visitors cover parking on Moulter Street, Smith Street and Pleasant Street during the event.
Sue McSweeney, the owner of the assisted living center, said she received the notice yesterday, and was unaware of any parking concerns on the street.
“We’ve tried to be really good neighbors. We landscape, decorate and keep our property up,” said McSweeney. “I don’t have a problem with putting a sign up saying, ‘do not park on the street,’ because we do have enough spots [at our business].”
“I think, between the three of us here, we own almost all the frontage on Moulter street,” added McSweeney.
Kevin Deparde, who has lived on Moulter Street for over 20 years, said that although there are only six homes in that portion of the neighborhood, he failed to receive a notice at his primary residence about the proposed ban. Deparde owns two houses in the area, as does his neighbor. Because there are only two other homes in that portion of the neighborhood, together, they comprise about 80 percent of the “neighborhood.”
After finding out the information from his neighbor, they discussed the situation and found that neither of them had issues with parking.
“It saddens us that we’re here tonight to talk about this when we’ve gotten from A to Z without looking at B first,” said Deparde. He claimed there had not been previous neighbor complaints about the parking, although an incident last summer may have resulted in a possible compliant.
This incident was a graduation party where several extended family members attended their house gathering. One of the visitors parked on Moulter Street, opposite another resident’s house, and had blocked that driveway. After the neighbor acknowledged the issue, Deparde says the problem became a “non-issue.”
Years prior to this, the Manlius Police Department made a stop at their house, among other homes, requesting residents not to park on Smith Street due to two-way traffic, as it would create increased congestion.
“When driveways are full, where do you park?” asked Deparde. “It seems to be unreasonable when a simple conversation can fix this.”
Deparde said he is cognizant of snow plowing during the winter season, and even admitted to regularly clearing the street, including 10 other driveways, for other residents with his personal tractor plow. “I do it for two reasons: one, it looks nicer. And two, it’s easier for pedestrian traffic. I do it because I’ve lived there forever and I like the place being cleaned up,” he said.
“I can tell you that’s why we’re here tonight, because we want to hear what people want to say,” said Whorrall. “One of the issues we have, on a one-way street like that, is that the people, especially those that come to visit, they’re going to park where there’s a parking spot. If they park on both sides of the road, nothing can get through there. There has to be something done because I drove up it the other day and there were people parked on both sides,” he added. “That’s in issue.”
Due to the lack of locations to push the snow, piling up snow along the side has also become an issue. “Any car that parks on the right-hand side is going to stick out at least two feet further than they normally would, which narrows the road even more,” said Whorrall.
Deparde offered an alternative method to mediating the situation by sending out notices warning residents not to block or impede traffic instead or banning it outright, and added that residents could work together to resolve issues without a ban.
Due to the residents’ concerns, the mayor closed the public hearing with a decision to table the proposed law.
The next Fayetteville Village Board of Trustees meeting is at 7 p.m. on Feb. 13.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.