Waterford Residents and Business Owners Address Concerns Over Ba - Erie News Now | WICU & WSEE in Erie, PA

Waterford Residents and Business Owners Address Concerns Over Back-in Parking

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"I know you guys thought about this long and hard before voting, that's what I heard, and I think if you were on the fence you should have come down to the people who it affected most," said a Waterford business owner to the Waterford Borough Council Monday night.

Waterford residents and business owners packed the meeting, to express their displeasure over the newly implemented back-in parking.

"We've been in town 24 years and we've never seen anything like it," said Linda Petrick, Owner of Carini Restaurant.

For an hour, people spoke out against the back-in parking that council unanimously voted for two months ago.

"What I see is when you're trying to back up, people will go around you, they'll go left to center," explained Jim Rodenbaugh, a Waterford resident.

"Cars are parking pulled in, backed in, so me are parallel parking, some are illegally parking," said Petrick.

Another complaint people had, was the lack-of communication about the parking change, until it was being voted on.

"There was no communication from the businesses in town, from the residents in town, and as you can see the uproar," said Rodenbaugh.

Council argued back and said there were several attempts to reach people and hear their feedback about the change, and it was also discussed in several meetings.

"I personally stopped at several businesses and let them know. I asked several people that I knew on the street how they feel about it, and we were getting about a 50/50 feedback at that point," said Jeff Horneman, President of the Waterford Borough Council.

Residents and business owners said one of their biggest fears is that the town will become a ghost town. Some business owners saying their businesses have suffered since the new parking was implemented. 

"Our business profit has gone down 32% in the last three weeks, because no one is coming into town," said Petrick.

Not everyone was against the new parking, some believes it is safer.

"Our biggest problem in Waterford, and it came out tonight, that people are afraid of change," said Racquel Gray, a Waterford resident and Driver's Ed instructor. She presented various examples at Monday night's meeting on where back-in parking was successful.

In the end, council decided to leave back-in parking for at least for a year, but to address other safety concerns.

"We want to try and see if we can encourage the state police to come out and address some of the aggressive drivers, that seems to be one of the major complaints. We also feel that there's some issues with some of the poles that probably need some reflectivity to them, to see if we can help with backing up," said Horneman.

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