Detour complicates parking

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

During Southeast Missouri State University baseball games at Capaha Park, the parking etiquette has long been to park the car wherever space is available.

But with Broadway under construction and Parkview Drive now used as a detour by both east- and westbound motorists, "park wherever" can create quite a mess.

More than 1,000 people crowded around Capaha Field for Saturday's doubleheader against Illinois State University. Observers said the situation along Parkview Drive was tight.

"What they do is park on both sides of the street, and there's room for only one car to get through. So it's a nuisance," said Ken Weakley, who lives on Rockwood Drive at the corner of West End Boulevard. Weakley said he believes the inconvenience will be worth it when a wider Broadway opens Monday.

A homeowner on Parkview Drive who asked not to be identified said he worries about wear and tear to the street. He also said he's seen more litter since traffic was rerouted weeks ago. "I'll be glad when all this is over," he said.

Some say things would be easier if the city maintained a four-way stop sign at Parkview Drive and Perry Avenue, similar to the one currently at the corner of Parkview and Henderson Ave., which has helped keep traffic moving in all directions at the opposite end of the detour.

But city engineer Jay Stencel said a four-way stop would disrupt traffic along Perry Avenue.

"We want to get the bigger trucks off the road earlier. If you're on Perry southbound toward campus, turn at New Madrid and that can take you to Henderson and avoid Parkview and West End altogether," said Stencel.

A four-way stop would back up traffic on Perry Avenue in both directions, he said. "We want to encourage the trucks to use wider roads, and I think they have been," Stencel said.

But what about the bottleneck caused by parking? Southeast home baseball games are scheduled for today, Friday and Saturday. Broadway isn't scheduled to reopen until Monday.

Cpl. Jason Selzer of the Cape Girardeau Police Department said he was unaware of any complaints about parking in Capaha Park on Saturday. He said it is illegal to pull a vehicle completely onto the grass or to leave any portion of a vehicle blocking the roadway. Other than that, motorists must only mind the posted "no parking" areas.

"We will be monitoring traffic flow there during the next baseball games before Broadway is opened up, but with something like this it has to be brought to our attention," he said.

tgreaney@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245

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