Public-works suggests no parking on part of Water Street

Published 7:23 pm Friday, February 23, 2018

Washington’s public-works director wants the City Council, during its meeting Monday, to consider not allowing parking along a narrow section of Water Street.

That section of Water Street runs eastward from Market Street to the west entrance to the parking lot across from Festival Park. That narrow section of Water Street came up at the council’s Feb. 12 meeting when the council discussed making Water Street, or part of it, a one-way street.

“Water Street is 21 feet wide in this area with 9 feet designated for on street parking. This leaves only 12 feet of travel lane for two-way traffic. The minimum standard for residential streets with marginal access is 24 feet of asphalt lane. The area is substandard and hazardous to motorist(s),” Frankie Buck, public-works director, in a memorandum to the mayor and council members. “I feel City Council should be aware of the hazard and discuss the removal of parking along Water Street in this area.”

At the Feb. 12 meeting, City Manager Bobby Roberson informed the council that a suggestion to make Water Street one-way from Market Street to McNair Street. Council members voiced concerns with that suggestion.

Council member William Pitt said he believes the problem on Water Street has more to do with parking on the narrow section of Water Street from Market Street toward Festival Park because its difficult for vehicles heading in opposite directions to pass each other. “It’s kind of like playing slow-motion chicken. You got to see who’s going to go first,” he said at the Feb. 12 meeting.

Councilman Doug Mercer concurred. “The problem appears to be the 100 block. It’s a bottleneck,” he said.

Councilwoman Virginia Finnerty said making Water Street one way would be dangerous. “We already have a problem with Main Street — people going the wrong way and almost killing each other. We want to do a second one? I think it’s a big mistake.”

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “City Agendas.” Locate the appropriate agenda (by date) under the “Washington City Council” heading, then click on that specific agenda listing.





About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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