Johnson Drive parking issues still on Mission’s agenda

Some customers might find Johnson Drive parking regulations, which vary widely, rather confusing.
Some customers might find Johnson Drive parking regulations, which vary widely, rather confusing.

Construction along Johnson Drive in Mission is continuing to drive concern about parking among some of the business owners on the street and the city is looking for solutions before the total reconstruction ramps up next year.

The concerns started when the city began acquiring easements and rights-of-way for the property in front of the buildings – some of which extended well into the street – in anticipation of the reconstruction that will replace sidewalks, pavement and streetscape in 2014. This summer and fall, utility replacement has had the street and traffic disrupted.

With the city right-of-way acquisition, some businesses were concerned that they will no longer be able to restrict parking to their customers. During the ongoing utility work, other businesses were concerned that customers could not get across the coned-off lanes to their stores.

One option that city staff brought to a city council committee this month is to allow regulated parking, specifically a two-hour limit, during the construction period. That would encourage turnover in parking and encourage employees not to park in front of a business.

In 2012, though, in anticipation of the Johnson Drive rebuild, the city passed a resolution which says there will be no mandated maximum time limits on Johnson Drive. Today, a variety of parking limit times dot the Johnson Drive landscape.

The council committee postponed any decisions or direction on the future of Johnson Drive parking, short or long term, until more input from business owners can be heard. City Administrator Gerry Vernon said he is planning block meetings with business owners starting this month to hear their views on the parking situation. One option apparently not on the table, though, is to allow businesses to restrict parking to their own customers.

Utility crews were at work as usual on Johnson Drive Friday morning. Drivers sometimes find it difficult to negotiate the cones into business parking.
Utility crews were at work as usual on Johnson Drive Friday morning. Drivers sometimes find it difficult to negotiate the cones into business parking.