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Resident complaints lead to city change

Springfield leaders agree to remove signs that bothered many Snyder Park neighbors.

Neighbors voicing their concerns about new “No Parking” signs placed along Harshman Boulevard have convinced City Hall to park those signs elsewhere.

After receiving a complaint from a homeowner, the city engineer placed 14 “No Parking” signs along the roadway where a grassy median separates it from Snyder Park. Although signs are posted along park entrances indicating there is no parking allowed on the grass, the complainant said people would park partially on the grass, making it difficult for cars to travel down the street, said Jim Bodenmiller, city manager.

“We have to be concerned, too, about fire trucks being able to get past if there is another car coming,” he said. “The bottom line is, it’s a fairly narrow road, and we did observe some issues with people parking in the grass.”

The signs were posted June 26. Residents along Harshman Boulevard became concerned the signs were cluttering up the roadway and obstructing their view of Snyder Park. Jason Connor, who lives on the street, said few cars park along the road, and therefore in his opinion the signs were unnecessary. He circulated a petition to determine how many of his neighbors approved of the signs.

“What I found from the neighborhood is over 90 percent of the neighbors … oppose the signs,” he said. “The signs are visual pollution and totally unnecessary.”

Connor brought his concerns to the city engineer, commissioners and the city manager. After reviewing the situation and surveying the street personally, Bodenmiller said he agreed there were too many signs. He had the 14 signs and poles removed by a service crew Friday morning, replacing them with three new signs attached to existing light poles.

“On one hand you’re contacted by people who want signs and on the other hand it seems like a lot more citizens didn’t want signs, so we tried to strike somewhat of a balance here and be responsive to both,” he said.

Neighbors came outside and clapped as workers removed the old signs. The new signs cost about $600 total. The old ones will be re-purposed throughout the city, Bodenmiller said.

The change, Bodenmiller said, is a sign that if you have a concern, city officials will take it seriously.

“I always advise people if you have a concern, call and ask,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just a miscommunication, a misunderstanding. Sometimes people are absolutely right about some things.”

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