Yorktown: Parking Could be Prohibited on Commerce, White Hill Road

Motorists could soon be barred from parking on two Yorktown roads with officials citing both as a safety hazard.

The Yorktown Town Board is currently considering a proposal that would prohibit parking year-round on White Hill Road and Commerce Street from Hanover Street to Route 118 and Route 35 on either side of the road. Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli said the while the congestion on White Hill is seasonal, any parking on the narrow roadway is a “major safety issue.”

While Commerce Street is in the heart of town, Wilkins Fruit & Fir Farm is located on White Hill Road.

“There’s a business up there and thank God they’re doing well, so certainly people are parking, and we certainly don’t want to do anything to harm their business, but my feeling is we cannot have cars parking on White Hill,” Paganelli said at the Oct. 13 work session. “It’s a two-lane road and when you have 10, 12 cars parked there, you basically have 200-and-something feet where one car can come through and then it becomes an issue where hopefully the other person in this traffic log jam is gracious enough to let you through.”

Paganelli said he tallied 137 cars parked in the White Hill area on a Sunday afternoon, with Traffic Safety Office Robert Rohr adding the Police Department has been fielding calls from residents requesting officers be on hand to oversee traffic control. He said the congestion on the roadway has been a “nightmare.”

Police Chief Robert Noble agreed that while Wilkins is the cause of most of the traffic, White Hill isn’t an area where cars should be parked.

“That’s a country road and people parking their cars there are susceptible to be damaged, it’s a safety issue,” Noble said. “Now more than ever with the apple picking season I know that the road is jammed, but throughout the year we all know that road; it’s a narrow country road with hills and turns.”

Additionally, Rohr explained that parked cars on Commerce Street also impedes traffic. Noble added that it’s a hazard to not only the Fire Department, but those entering and exiting nearby businesses. Both indicated that parking on that roadway is not worth compromising people’s safety.

Councilman Tom Diana noted that those exiting the BP gas station on Commerce are forced to pull out far into the roadway to see around the cars parked nearby. There should be no parking on Commerce Street, he said.

“For anybody that’s trying to get through that area, especially when there’s large commercial vehicles going through, the trucks have to go on the other side of the road to get around those parked vehicles,” Rohr said. “When people are pulling out of the BP they can’t see around those parked cars and they have to pull out into the roadway, almost causing collisions and that’s not good.”

Town Supervisor Matt Slater agreed to send the proposal to the town attorney to draft into a local law. The proposal would require a public hearing prior to voting.

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