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Jim Thorpe backs off on downtown parking plan

Jim Thorpe Borough Council has backed off plans to move parking to the opposite side of Hemlock Street in the downtown area.

The ordinance would have moved the no parking zone from the west side of the street, between West Broadway and the Bus Road, to the east side of the street.

“We had gone over there on the request from some neighbors,” Council President Greg Strubinger said, “and the recommendation at the time was to move the no parking zone. At that time, we believed the other neighbors in the area were OK with that, but we have since heard some other feedback. We went back out and the recommendation is now to not move forward with ordinance. “

Cheryl Heydt, of 331 W. Broadway, said 15 of 18 residents who would have been affected by the change signed a paper stating they're against it. At Thursday night’s council meeting she told the governing body, there is nothing wrong with the way things currently exist.

“It’s nothing personal against anyone, but the majority of people do not want it changed,” Heydt said. “They want parking to remain the same on the east side of the street.”

Anthony Bombico, however, said he has helped the owners of 320 W. Broadway do work on their residence and it is difficult to get supplies in the home with a car parked in front of it.

“Every time we bring sheets of wood in, there is a car there,” Bombico said. “We knock on the door and nobody answers. “We’re trying to rebuild the inside of the house. I don’t think you should park on either side. It’s not wide enough on either side.”

During the second visit to the area, Councilman Mike Yeastedt said, the borough marked three legal parking spots on the east side of the street.

“The spots are 9-by-20 feet,” he said. “I would recommend we paint them now that we are leaving them there.”

The decision to forgo the ordinance came as welcome news to Jill Flanagan, who owns 324 W. Broadway.

“Hemlock Street runs right next to our home,” she said. “We made a calculated decision to purchase the home under the impression that parking would stay on the east side of street. Changing that would limit access to our house and cause issues getting into and out of our own residence. There has been parking on the east side of the street for 50 years and there have been no issues until recently.”