UP Council Meeting Goes Long

Today the University Park City Council met to discuss the PD ordinance regarding the Park Cities YMCA expansion which the council unanimously approved Nov. 6.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 4 p.m., but due to traffic it did not commence until 4:25 p.m.

This was my first UP City Council meeting to attend, and I had been advised that they frequently do not last for long. Today’s meeting went on for almost an hour and a half, and only ended because Mayor W. Richard Davis insisted, saying that he did not want the meeting to drag on for any longer on a Friday night (thank you, Mayor!).

The consensus was that while all three parties – the council, the YMCA, and the neighbors generally agree on most points of the ordinance, there are still quite a few kinks that need to be ironed out.

The project’s biggest headache seems to deal with the traffic flow around the YMCA. Neighbors voiced concern over increased traffic being forced to go through their neighborhood or accidents increasing at the intersection of Normandy and Preston as YMCA go’ers attempt to access parking or cross the street to get into the Y.

There was talk of widening roads, re-wiring/timing the traffic signals, and generally diverting the flow of traffic, but much more extensive research will have to go into this issue before a solution that is agreeable to all interested parties can be reached.

Other concerns raised included the proposed parking garage  and its accessibility for handicapped patrons, and there was general disagreement over the use of the fields on Sundays and whether that space should be treated like park space or private property, with Sunday usage requiring prior approval by the council.

Although the meeting progressed fairly smoothly, only 9 of the PD’s 11 pages were covered, leading Mayor Davis to propose another meeting in the near future to continue today’s discussion.

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