Janesville24.4°

Just the ticket? Officials hope parking issue solved

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
May 18, 2012
— The city has added parking in grassy areas at the Janesville Youth Sports Complex after complaints about parking tickets and a lack of parking.

Officials said parking was adequate but not as close as some people are used to.


Some baseball fans were angered May 7 when 29 of them received tickets for parking illegally along an access road leading to the concession stand. The complex is a city park.


The situation has improved since more parking was designated in areas where future lots will be built, City Manager Eric Levitt said.


The city will look at ways to improve the temporary lots and is installing more "No Parking" signs, Levitt said.


"It's just getting people used to (the) need to walk a block and a half, or two blocks, in order to get to the activity," said Jay Winzenz, assistant city manager.


Dave Ellis, a Janesville Youth Baseball and Softball Association board member, said: "These people were parked in the road, and it clearly says, 'No Parking, City of Janesville.'


"Last year, we had an ambulance called, and (it) couldn't get through."


The city and league want to keep the access road open for emergency vehicles, and children sometimes dart from between parked cars, creating another hazard, Levitt said.


Officials also want to grow grass along the roadsides.


The facility is new, and people last year parked where they pleased, Ellis said.


"That started the whole thing," he said.


An asphalt parking lot along Wuthering Hills Drive is rarely filled, officials said. Other, smaller lots are located within the complex.


The parking lot along Wuthering Hills Drive is about one-third mile—about three blocks—from the farthest field, Ellis said.


"Most of us could use the walk," he said.


The city installed signs, planted trees and put rocks along the access road to discourage parking there, Levitt said.


Ellis said his organization warned on its website about the possibility of tickets being issued.


He recommends that drivers drop off older family members and young children at the fields before parking.


Levitt said the new rules might require an adjustment period.


Jody Wisz contacted The Gazette after her sister, who lives in Beloit, received a $30 ticket. Wisz, who lives in Janesville, said she did not see the "No Parking" signs or the warnings on the website.


She said the three-block walk becomes difficult at 8:30 p.m. with a 7-month-old baby and an elderly grandmother in tow.


She said she is as angry about the parking ticket as the lack of parking.


"Why the need for three officers to be out there?" she asked in her email. "Isn't there something else they should be doing than giving grandmas coming to watch their grandsons' baseball game $30 parking tickets?"


Until the issue is resolved, Levitt said, officers have stopped writing tickets unless vehicles are parked in areas that create clear safety hazards.


Parking the last couple of nights has gone well, Ellis said.


The temporary lots are marked on the association's website, jybsa.org, and volunteers will mark the lots as soon as they have time, he said.



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