Hobart works with schools to restrict parking on Lillian
By Karen Caffarini Post-Tribune correspondent March 20, 2013 9:28PM
Updated: April 22, 2013 12:33PM
HOBART — The City Council and School City of Hobart are working together to come up with a solution for Lillian Street, where residents’ parked cars have made it difficult for school buses and some city vehicles to maneuver.
School Board president Terry Butler and Felix Perry, with the school system’s transportation department, appeared at Wednesday’s council meeting and agreed that someone from the school system would attend the council’s next ordinance committee meeting, to be held April 3, when the council plans to consider some parking restrictions on Lillian, from Indiana 51 to the school system’s service center.
The City Council earlier tabled action on an ordinance that would have restricted parking on portions of Lillian Street after residents complained and maintained that the main problem is speeding city vehicles and school buses, not parked cars.
Butler said the School Board has been aware of problems in that area for some time.
“The transportation department asked for no-parking on one side of the street. We were concerned that some buses might scrape cars parked there,” Butler said.
He said Lillian Street is the safest route for bus drivers to get in and out of the school’s service center.
Council President Jerry Herzog, D-1st, said the city is getting information from different entities, noting Mayor Brian Snedecor recently received another letter from one of the residents.
“In the future, we’d like to work with the School Board,” Herzog said.
Councilman Pete Mendez, D-3rd, said some people along that stretch have no place to park. He suggested there be no parking on the south side of Lillian Street, and Butler agreed.
Mendez also asked if the school system had any problem with the city installing a speed bump on Lillian, and if the bus drivers could enter and exit the service center via Indiana 130 instead of Lillian Street when in their own vehicles.
Perry said the speed bump could cause noise problems due to screeching brakes. He said it is a matter of convenience for drivers to use Lillian Street instead of Indiana 130, adding that traffic to the Hobart Food Pantry has greatly increased, going from 30 to 40 people a week to about 160 people a week, adding to traffic problems.
It was pointed out that those going to the pantry aren’t supposed to use the back entrance, but Perry said many prefer that entrance to the busier Indiana 130.
Councilman Matt Claussen, D-at-large, said he had concerns about asking people to use Indiana 130.
“There are five houses on this stretch of Lillian Street and you have a lot of seniors using the food pantry. You would create a greater hazard putting seniors on 130,” he said.