By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — If you have been concerned about not being able to see toward Main Street when pulling out of the Dollar General driveway, you will soon have a clear line of sight.
The Colfax Village Board approved “no parking” on the south side of Fifth Avenue from Main Street to Park Drive at the July 11 meeting.
Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer, said she has received complaints from drivers concerned about not being able to see traffic turning off Main Street while they are pulling out of the Dollar General parking lot.
Eliminating parking on Fifth Avenue from Main Street to Park Drive would require changing the ordinance and putting up “no parking” signs, noted Colfax Police Chief William Anderson.
The vehicles parked along Fifth Avenue are usually from Mike’s Auto Repair, said Mark Halpin, village trustee.
“People are concerned about visibility. They can’t see toward Main Street,” he said.
Halpin wondered if part of the problem was due to people not coming to get their vehicles soon enough after Mike’s Auto Repair has finished working on them.
Police Chief Anderson said he has talked to Mike Schindler, owner of Mike’s Auto Repair, and that he regularly checks the VIN numbers on vehicles parked along Fifth Avenue to make sure they are not parked there more than 48 hours.
Police Chief Anderson also said that people have been upset with him for checking the VIN numbers and have accused him of harassing the business owner.
Fifth Avenue is a truck route, and with vehicles parked on the south side from Main Street to Park Drive, semi drivers would have a difficult time turning onto the street and driving through, the police chief said.
Village Trustee Carey Davis said the west side of Fifth Avenue has poor visibility, too, and that an electrical box and a telephone pole block the line of sight for drivers pulling out of Fifth Avenue by the Grapevine Senior Center.
The Colfax Village Board unanimously approved adding a section to the no-parking ordinance to include “south side of Fifth Avenue from Park drive to Highway 40.”
Village President Scott Gunnufson was absent from the meeting.
Village Trustee Mark Halpin chaired the meeting in Gunnufson’s absence.
The ordinance pertaining to no parking on Fifth Avenue will not go into effect until after it has been published in the Colfax Messenger.
Parking on River Street on the north side of the Colfax Health Mart also is a problem, said Annie Schieber, village trustee.
Cars will sometimes park by the pharmacy all day, making it difficult for pharmacy customers to find parking spots, she said.
People who need to stop at the pharmacy are either ill or elderly or sometimes both, Schieber noted.
Village Trustee Casey Rihn wondered if the cars parked on River Street belonged to tenants living above the pharmacy.
The parking problems are not due to tenants living above the pharmacy, Schieber said.
“They can control their tenants,” she said, noting that parking for tenants is available behind the building.
Niggemann suggested that one parking space being limited to ten minutes for pharmacy customers might help with the problem.
Parking along Main Street is limited to two hours, but there are no limits on parking on the side streets, she said.
Village board members asked Niggemann to investigate the options for parking on West River Street next to the pharmacy and to bring the information back to the village board.