Manor Acres ‘no parking’ eyed further
by By JOYANNA LOVE Banner Staff Writer
Aug 21, 2013 | 1436 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print

More “no parking” signs will be put in the Manor Acres subdivision to address safety issues following a discussion by the Bradley County Road Committee.

Concerns about residents consistently parking on the busy road in the subdivision were brought before the Bradley County Road Committee during a meeting Tuesday.

Resident Carl Barnett said while many in the subdivision were obeying the existing signs there were three or four violators still parking on the road.

He gave an example of one that was parked on a curve on a foggy morning. He said the car could have easily been hit because it was hard to see.

Road Department superintendent Tom Collins said he would put up signs at forks in the roads to clear up confusion.

This solution was reached after W.G. Campbell of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office expressed concerns raised over a conversation with the district attorney that more signs may be needed to make the subdivision regulations enforceable.

“We made them move out on Brown Drive and on Hickory Hills. Let’s make them move ... here,” Collins said.

He said this issue had been cleared up on other roads through signage and law enforcement.

Residents parking on Sumerset Drive in the subdivision is not a new concern.

Collins said there had been an issue in the past with emergency vehicles being able to get to houses in the subdivision after snowfall accumulation because of cars parked in the road.

Campbell said the department had responded to approximately 300 calls in the past two years about vehicles being parked on the road.

Tickets were not issued in all cases. Campbell said if someone has been warned and continues to park illegally, they will be issued a ticket.

Discussions about the issue initially began in 2011, according to Campbell.

Subdivision regulations passed in the 1970s state that cars cannot legally park on a subdivision road unless the road is at least 30 feet wide. Sumerset Drive is not.

Campbell said the subdivision had a sign at the front that parking in the road is not permitted at any time.

When a car in a subdivision is illegally parked, Bradley County Sheriff’s deputies try to find the owner of the vehicle.

“If it poses an imminent threat, like it is up over a hill or around a curve, we’re going to find that person and make them immediately move it. If we can’t (find them) we are going to tow the vehicle,” Campbell said. “If it doesn’t (pose a threat of accident) if a fire trucks and an ambulance can get around it and people can really see it and get around it, then we won’t (tow it). We are trying to be reasonable.”

Special circumstances such as a wedding shower, birthday party, yard sales or “death in the family” were listed as reasons for allowing some exceptions.

“We do not want to get in a situation where we take discretion away from our officers,” Campbell said.

The department is also looking into using stickers similar to those used by the Tennessee Highway Patrol. These would be used to mark cars parked illegally in neighborhoods and give owners time to move the vehicle.

The road committee also considered:

- A request from Life Bridges for a painted crosswalk across Old Chattanooga Pike. Collins expressed concerns about the county paying for a crosswalk requested by a private organization. Commissioner Terry Caywood explained the housing for clients does not have enough parking for caregivers. The caregivers park on Life Bridges’ main parking lot and walk to the clients’ houses across the street.

- Requests to change speed limits on certain roads. Campbell said the BCSO would look into questions of speeding in Hidden Forest and on Hidden Oaks Trail. A resident had asked that the speed limit be lowered. The committee approved sending a petition to the state to increase the speed limits on sections of Eureka and Lower River roads to bring them in line with the speed limit on the rest of the road. County engineer Sandra Knight said the state would make a decision based on a traffic engineering study.