Man On Mission To Change Resident Parking Habits

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Don Messmer has seen how drivers and pedestrians must maneuver in order to get around vehicles that are parked on streets and sometimes on sidewalks in the Houston Landing subdivision in Star Valley.

Messmer said there are areas where two cars traveling in opposite directions cannot pass each other because parked vehicles take up too much of the street.

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Star Valley resident Don Messmer is frustrated with on-street parking in the town. He said cars parked on the curb create dangerous situations for passing traffic. He would like to see parking restrictions put in place and tickets issued until residents get the message.

He has two cars himself, and always parks them in his garage. If he has visitors, he instructs them to park on his driveway.

He said his daughter recently visited him, and he asked her to park her Hummer in the driveway. He said it was a little inconvenient for him since her vehicle blocked in his two cars.

Inconvenience is one thing, but making the roads dangerous for others is another thing entirely. He used Moonlight Drive as an example.

The street has several blind turns and cars parked out into the street could cause accidents.

Messmer, a volunteer posse member for the Gila County Sheriff's Office, was hoping the GCSO was going to get the law enforcement contract for Star Valley because he had planned to focus on the parking issue.

The town opted to enter into a contract with the Payson Police Department instead.

Messmer said he will be contacting the PPD to gauge its interest in having volunteers issue parking tickets.

But in order for him to start ticketing cars, there would have to be wording in Star Valley's code that prohibits parking on public streets.

About a month ago, Messmer approached the Star Valley Council about adopting just such an ordinance.

He said one council member later told him that he thought the issue was going to be in the town's new zoning code.

Star Valley Town Manager Lanny Sloan said that the town code, which is being approved by its attorney, has not been adopted, and therefore there is no parking regulation in the town at this time.

Sloan said there will be some parking rules in the code when it goes to the Town Council for a vote.

"There will be some parking regulations, but I do not know what they will be," Sloan said.

Messmer said he will push for an ordinance if there is not a regulation prohibiting vehicles from parking on the street.

Issuing parking tickets, he said, will get people's attention relatively quickly.

Messmer said most neighbors and residents of the town do not like people parking in the streets, but are too busy or do not want to get involved.

"Nowadays people have no courtesy for other people," he said. "They just have no concern for others.

"They think the law applies to you, not me."

The town code, including any parking restrictions, will come before the Star Valley Town Council on July 18 for approval or disapproval.

-- To reach Michael Maresh call 4745251 ext. 112 or e-mail mmaresh@payson.com.

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