No parking during games?

Councilwoman plans to reintroduce ordinance to get “No Parking During Game” sign near Destrehan

October 01, 2008 at 9:11 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Schexnaydre says a no parking sign could help prevent difficulties during emergencies.
Shonna Riggs/Herald Guide
Schexnaydre says a no parking sign could help prevent difficulties during emergencies.
Councilwoman-at-large Carolyn Schexnaydre plans to reintroduce an ordinance next month that failed to get enough votes and was not supported by the council last week.

That ordinance is asking the Louisiana Department of Transportation to place a “No Parking During Game” sign up on Thomas Colby Drive near Destrehan High School.

If the ordinance passes, residents won't be fined, but their vehicles will be towed.
“I contacted Sheriff (Greg) Champagne about the traffic issues on that street during game night,” she said. “He said he will make sure that a deputy is in the area to assess the situation for the next few football games, but when we have the huge games that's when the issue is really a concern.”

Schexnaydre has already met with residents living on the street, and plans to meet with emergency response personnel.
“I want the sign to be placed near Destrehan High School on this particular street because I'm concerned that emergency vehicles, like ambulances and fire trucks, won't be able to get through on the crowded, blocked street if an emergency arises in the neighborhood during a game,” she said. “I witnessed a hit run on game night recently.”

Schexnaydre and her husband were inside their home on Schexnaydre Lane one Friday night when they heard a loud noise.
“It sounded like metal crushing metal or something,” she said. “I told my husband ‘I think somebody must have gotten hit.’ When we went outside, we noticed that a vehicle had hit a car and kept on going.”

Schexnaydre says that when the owner of the damaged vehicle arrived, he was very upset.
“He asked us if we had gotten a license plate number or anything,” she said. “I apologized to the man and said ‘no sir, the other person pulled off so fast we couldn't get anything.’”

Schexnaydre feels that dangerous traffic situations like this make the ordinance necessary.
“A lot of traffic issues occur in this area and I'm concerned for the safety of the residents,” she said. “I am currently seeking signatures from the residents living on Thomas Colby, and I plan on speaking to emergency personnel about the issue.”

So far, she has gotten signatures from more than half of the residents that live on the street.
Schexnaydre faced criticism at the council meeting Monday because a few council members said she failed to ask the residents living on Thomas Colby what they wanted before she presented the ordinance.

“I was asked why I didn't get any signatures or discuss it with anyone on Thomas Colby,” she said. “I've spent many weeks watching similar ordinances be written and passed by the current council and I wasn't aware that every councilman has been going door-to-door to get signatures from every resident living on a particular street when it comes to passing something like this.”

District 3 Councilwoman Wendy Benedetto oversees the district and says she's concerned about the residents too - but doesn't feel the no parking sign is needed.
“I didn't get a chance to ask those living on Thomas Colby if they wanted this no parking sign or not,” Benedetto said. “I was going to last Saturday, but it was raining and I didn't get a chance to do it.”

Benedetto says she does plan on seeking the opinion of the residents about the issue sometime within the next couple of weeks, before the ordinance is resubmitted for a vote of approval.

“I don't think we need the sign,” Benedetto said. “Cars have always parked on Thomas Colby, along Schexnaydre Lane and River Road, and no one has had an issue with it before.
“The only time there's a traffic problem is before a game starts or after a game is over,” Benedetto said. “Other than that, traffic flows well in that area.”

A public hearing was called at the council meeting to see if anyone living on the street opposed Schexnaydre's ordinance. No one showed up.

View other articles written Shonna Riggs

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