Scranton Creates No-parking Zones In Bike Lanes Near University Of Scranton Sports Complex

March 13, 2019
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Scranton Creates No-parking Zones In Bike Lanes Near U Of S Sports Complex

SCRANTON — Some residents welcome the city’s creation of a no-parking zone in bicycle lanes along Broadway near the University of Scranton’s new sports complex and the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail.

City council last week unanimously adopted an ordinance from Mayor Bill Courtright for the city to create no-parking zones in the bike lanes on both sides of Broadway in the area of the university’s Kevin P. Quinn, S.J., Athletics Campus.

During a hearing last Monday on the legislation, some residents spoke of how Broadway at times gets jammed with vehicles parking on both sides of the road in the bike lanes during university sports events. The complex hosts baseball, field hockey, lacrosse, soccer and softball games.

Noting the trail is popular with bicyclists as well as pedestrians, resident Fay Franus endorsed the new no-parking zones and urged for enforcement to follow.

“There absolutely should be no parking there,” Franus said. “That’s a big trail for biking and for jogging. For biking, it’s very important ... you can put the signs there, but you’ve got to enforce the law.”

The bike lanes were installed as safety improvements with road crossings of the river trail, the city legislation said. Last fall, the city police department received several complaints about vehicles parked in the bike lanes on both sides of the road. Police reviewed the situation and determined no-parking zones are necessary to keep vehicles out of the bike lanes. The zones are a precursor for signs to be installed to alert motorists of the parking prohibitions, and so the rules can be enforced to keep the bike lanes clear, the legislation said.

Dan Santarsiero, who lives on Third Avenue near Broadway Street, presented council with photos of numerous vehicles parked on both Broadway Street and Third Avenue. During such times, residents can’t get in or out of their driveways, he said. He and a few other homeowners also seek from the city permit parking zones at their homes.

“I don’t think our neighborhood should have to suffer,” Santarsiero said of the situation.

Santarsiero also presented a recent email to council members from Thom Welby, chief of staff for state Rep. Marty Flynn, D-113, Scranton, saying the new sports complex is a “magnificent asset,” but “should not be permitted to create an intolerable condition for the residents.”

“When there is an event at the facility, visitors clog the region in parking everywhere that they can fit their vehicle, as well as the complications with buses picking up and dropping off students and also buses backing out on to Broadway after turning on to 3rd Avenue,” Welby’s email said.

Council voted 5-0 — with President Pat Rogan, Tim Perry, Kyle Donahue, Bill Gaughan and Wayne Evans all in favor — to adopt an ordinance authorizing the no-parking zones.

University spokesman Stan Zygmunt in an email Friday cited the university website athletics page, which provides information on various parking lots available for visitors of the Quinn Athletics Campus, and asks guests not to park on the streets.

“Parking is available at the Quinn Athletics Campus in the big parking lot next to the baseball and multi-purpose fields as well as on the opposite side of Broadway Street in the small church parking lot next to the softball field,” the website says. “Overflow parking is available in the empty lot at the corner of Hickory Street and South Washington Avenue (205 Hickory Street for GPS) as well as Fitzpatrick Field (100 Cedar Avenue for GPS). Visitors are asked to not park on the streets adjacent to the Quinn Athletics Campus.”

Contact the writer: jlockwood@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlockwoodTT on Twitter