City, county eye parking plan

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The city has come up with a plan to improve the parking situation around the Lawrence County Courthouse and has asked the county commissioners to kick in $94,424 to get it done.

The plan is to put in angled parking on the South Fourth Street side of the courthouse. It would reduce the block from Park Avenue to Center Street to a single lane but would create more parking and better sidewalks.

Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said the city is asking for help in that area because they want to pave it.

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“Some ideas that came forth were about angled parking,” Blankenship said. “Will it work? At this point we are not sure. This is simply a conceptual idea for that, nothing is set in stone. We thought we would see if it is feasible and throw the idea out there.”

He said they were trying to think outside the box and “if the idea is not feasible, we won’t do it. We are just trying to jump out ahead of the game.”

Blankenship sent a letter to the county commissioners, which accepted the correspondence last Thursday at their regular meeting. The matter was referred to Ralph Kline of the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization, which handles grant applications for the county.

Commissioner Jason Stephens said the funds would come from 2009 Community Block Grant Development requests.

“That would be the catalyst to help fund that,” he said. “It needs to be paved anyway.”

Stephens said KYOVA is doing a traffic study of all of Ironton and if the change of South Fourth Street is part of the plan, the commissioners are willing to work on it.

“We want to work with the city on this and plus it will help people doing business here at the courthouse,” he said.

He added it wasn’t uncommon to hear people talking about how they couldn’t find a parking spot close to the courthouse.

“And angled parking spots are a lot easier to park in than parallel parking spots,” he said. “But as far as the details of it, it’s still up in the air. We just want to make sure it’s done nice.”

Blankenship’s letter said the funds would allow the street to be milled and resurfaced and it would improve both parking and pedestrian access to the courthouse.