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City May Restrict Parking On Main Drag

INDEPENDENCE -- On-street parking along Monmouth Street could be prohibited in the future.

INDEPENDENCE -- On-street parking along Monmouth Street could be prohibited in the future.

That's one of the ideas being considered by the city's Traffic Safety Commission as it searches for ways to improve the flow of vehicles, and accessibility for pedestrians, on the busy route.

Parked cars limiting visibility at heavily-used crosswalks at Fourth, Fifth and Seventh streets on Monmouth Street is an issue, said Independence Police Chief Vern Wells.

The city currently requires a drivers to park at least 20 feet away from crosswalks on either side. The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) recommends a 40-foot buffer. The city is speaking with the agency about possibly providing or assisting with signage for Monmouth Street, which is also a state highway (Oregon 51).

Vehicles blocking street sweepers from doing their jobs is another issue. Besides increasing the distance between cars and crosswalks, the city is looking at prohibiting on-street parking between 3 and 7 a.m. on weekdays.

"Eventually, however, it probably needs to be a no-parking zone all the time," Wells said, adding that the changes would apply to areas west of Third Street. "Our discussion now is whether this should be now or if should we wait."

Residents who live near the crosswalks have been informed of the proposal, Wells said. No timetable has been set for enacting the provisions.

Regarding long-term changes, the commission is considering bike lanes and left-turn lanes in key spots along Monmouth Street to improve traffic flow.

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Independence police are encouraging awareness among residents of the city's 72-hour parking law, as well as a prohibition on parking vehicles measuring longer than 23 feet on city streets.

Citizens can receive $10 fines for parking vehicles, RVs and utility trailers in the same spot on city streets for periods longer than 72 hours.

To notify police of a violation: 503-838-1214.

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