WVDOH District Engineer Manager Rossi addresses parking concerns during City Council Meeting

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Photo by Beth Christian Broschart Billings Avenue residents concerned about the possibility of losing their on street parking gather to meet with Parsons City Council members and WVDOH District Engineer/Manager James Rossi Tuesday evening. Residents were pleased to learn Rossi was going to recommend only three areas of no parking zones along Billings Avenue to allow traffic to ‘duck over’ as oncoming traffic passes by.

PARSONS – James Rossi, WVDOH District Engineer/Manager, met with members of the Parsons City Council and residents of Billings Avenue Tuesday evening to discuss solutions for parking issues. Rossi said there had been issues on the county route located within the city limits of Parsons on Billings Avenue.

“It started with an issue on snow and ice removal,” Rossi said. “I got to looking at it and there are some issues with parking. As you come in from US Route 219, you make a left and there is a park entrance there. There are houses if you are headed up Billings on the right. People park on the street and it narrows down leading up to the Parsons Cemetery.”
Rossi said his office received some calls about the snow and ice, and said he talked to Dennis Roth, Tucker County Supervisor for the DOH.

“I asked him to take a look at Billings Avenue. We talked about potentially removing all parking from that street but we had some citizen issues with that. Concerned residents got back to us on those issues and it prompted me to look into this further,” Rossi said. “I talked to Keith McDaniel and I popped in on Friday and drove the road. It had snowed that morning and school was called off. We measured the road and watched the traffic at that time. I came back tonight (Tuesday) and watched traffic on that road again with Jason Myers.”
Rossi said he would not be eliminating all parking on Billings Avenue.

“It isn’t warranted,” he said. “I will ask that longstanding cars that are parked there or ones that are broken down are not staged there. In actuality, it could be considered obstruction.”
Rossi said the worst case scenario would be that the 100 feet up the power pole would probably be designated as a no parking zone. He said somewhere further up, there would be one or two more no parking zones so people coming down the hill have somewhere to pull over to allow oncoming traffic to pass.

“My traffic engineering department does the studies and observations and put these no parking plans together – from the district office they go to the traffic engineering department where they are further reviewed. The put on any stipulations and approve or disapprove them. After that, they go to the Commissioner of Highways because a no parking zone requires approval of the Commissioner. This process could take two to three months.”

Rossi said the DOH has the right to eliminate parking on Billings Avenue. “But we are going to choose not to eliminate the parking on Billings Avenue except for the few areas to keep the traffic moving.”

Billings Avenue resident Keith McDaniel thanked Rossi for his cooperation.

“I told these folks who are my neighbors how cooperative you have been with me,” McDaniel said. “You have been cordial and you listened to our concerns. For some residents, there is no parking out back. We appreciate you.”

Tucker County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Jessica Waldo presented an update on Tucker County Day at the Legislature, slated for March 29 at the West Virginia Cultural Center in Charleston. Waldo said the event will feature displays of the history of skiing and offer brunch items, many prepared by the ProStart Program at Tucker County High School, drawing attention to the recently passed ‘Brunch Bill’ in Tucker County allowing alcohol to be served in restaurants at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

Waldo presented council members with the new copy of the Tucker County Visitors Guide.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting Tammy Michael reported that currently Wellness 24 has 326 members, more than it has ever had.

Upcoming events include Make It Shine on April 1, Celebrate Parsons May 7, Bike and Hike and the Gospel Sing June 3 and the Spring Cleanup Week May 1 to 5.

The next Parsons City Council Meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday, February 21 in the Council Chambers, located on the first floor of the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building.