SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Removal of Parking on Deermount St.
By Jackie Keizer


April 23, 2009

I am writing in regard to the notice that appeared in the Weekend Edition stating that "the City of Ketchikan Joint Safety Committee is soliciting input from the public regarding removal of on-street parking for all the north side of Deermount Street."

I live on the north side of Deermount and park in front of my house, as do my husband and daughter (our twin sons turned 16 today, so we will have two more drivers soon!) It would be an inconvenience for us not to be able to park on the street. Our side of the street is always full of cars belonging to people who live on both sides of the street. I am actually furious at the thought of losing my parking and would like to know what prompted this. When I spoke to the City Safety Coordinator he stated that several incidents last season sparked the concern, but he did not elaborate on what they were.

Is this a result of all the tourist traffic, tour buses, and horses that use Deermount? I am all for tourism. I wait patiently, smiling graciously, for the ogling hoards to snap their pictures and get out of the street; I don't curse the congestion downtown or tailgate the buses and horses as they creep painfully along Park Avenue. I don't even scream 'Not true!' (just misinformed, actually) when the horse and Duck tours drive by my house 10+ times a day telling their charges how the city spent thousands designing the bear proof trash cans that line our street. (Come on guys - do those trash cans look bear proof? The bear proof cans are at the camp grounds; the ones in town were designed to be hoisted by the garbage trucks thereby saving our city workers much wear and tear on their backs, which I think is just as interesting.) My point is, I think we make enough sacrifices throughout the summer months without giving up our parking, too.

Deermount is really wider than many streets in town, and even when cars are parked on both sides, normal two-way traffic is able to flow. When school buses or larger trucks are coming it is often necessary for someone to pull over a bit for the other to pass, but I have never seen that as a problem or safety issue. It is much more difficult for traffic on Second Avenue or the upper part of Jackson. And Water Street, where traffic is restricted, is still a nightmare.

The notice states that parking is restricted on nearly 2/3 of Deermount already (sort of a 'so what the heck?' mentality.) Half is more like it, and on that portion there are fewer houses that are affected. Parking for Tatsudas on one side and Channel Electric and Community Connections on the other, the KIC building, an undeveloped lot where houses were torn down to widen the street, the mortuary, and the Heritage Center entrance take up the majority of that half of the street. The portion of the street where parking is allowed has a much higher density of homes and residents will be that much more inconvenienced by disallowing parking. Again, I will be most unhappy to lose my street-side parking and certainly hope the city does not go ahead with these plans.


Jackie Keizer
Ketchikan, AK


Received April 22, 2009 - Published April 23, 2009


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