GLEN ROSE - The residents who frequently travel Mesquite and Jackson streets will soon find the route to be more easily navigable, especially during peak hours of the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church. During a City Council meeting held April 12, the council unanimously approved Ordinance 582, which provided for no parking along the north side of Mesquite and Jackson streets.

The change in policy came after the reconstruction of the two streets that included adding a curb and gutter to both sides to improve the drainage and the street itself.

Chester Nolen, city administrator, said, “Prior to that, the church up there had been able to use both sides of the street for parking and were parking kind of off the street in the grass area adjacent to the street. With the introduction of the curb and gutter system they simply aren’t able to do that, and consequently parking on the street has the street so congested that it’s difficult to get a vehicle down the street while the church is in session. Also it would be virtually impossible to get a fire truck down there or other emergency equipment should the need arise.”

In order to fix the congestion the city is issuing a no parking ordinance that constitutes the north side of both streets.

“It allows the opportunity for emergency vehicles and for the patrons that live on that street to be able to come and go from their own property. There were a couple of reports of folks that had damaged their vehicles trying to get down the street - ripped off mirrors and things like that,” Nolen said. “We want to allow the people who live on the street access to their property and should the need arise for emergency equipment that can move up and down the street when the church is in session.”

To make the transition a little easier on the church-goers the city council said they would like a 45-day delay on the enforcement of the ordinance. Those 45 days started the evening of the meeting, April 12, and will end around May 27.

“The council indicated they would like to see a 45-day delay on the enforcement until folks were accustomed to it,” Nolen said. “There’s even been a suggestion that the ordinance may be modified to specify times such as Sundays or Wednesdays or when the church is in session - normal meeting times. That was just a suggestion. We’ll see how this works, and if it doesn’t fit with everybody we’ll come back and do something different.”

Instead of parking on the street and congesting traffic flow to near dangerous levels, motorists on St. Rose of Lima have been offered to use the First Financial Bank parking lot that is located only half a block away.

“It is my understanding they have the opportunity to utilize the First Financial Bank parking area since that’s not utilized on Sundays and other meeting times,” Nolen said.

Once the 45 days of “grace period” are up, a penalty of fine not to exceed the sum of $200 for each offense will be in place.