Fireworks ordinance makes comeback

The fireworks ordinance resurfaced once again during discussions at Monday?s Fairfield City Council meeting.

The council agreed to bring back an amendment to the ordinance that had gone through two readings before it was tabled in February. The amendment would have reduced the number of days to discharge fireworks from nine days around Independence Day to only one, July 4. It would reduce the allowable days around New Year?s from four to just the night of Dec. 31.

The public safety and transportation committee has examined fireworks in greater depth during the past few months. Committee chairman Michael Halley was curious if the council could pick a select few days to allow fireworks each year, just as it does with Halloween where the council determines the night of trick-or-treating a few months in advance. City Attorney John Morrissey recommended the council not do that since it would complicate enforcement. He recommended setting the dates in the ordinance and keeping them the same so they?d be easy for the public to remember.

The council could pass the third and final reading of the amended ordinance as soon as its next meeting, May 14.


Bottlenecks on D Street

The council voted to support no parking signs along D Street to alleviate traffic congestion. At the transportation committee?s meeting last week, resident Terri Kness expressed concerns about the safety at the intersection of South D Street and Burlington Avenue. The east side of D Street has no parking signs but parking is allowed along most of the west side. She said school buses using the street often create bottlenecks for southbound traffic that must wait for northbound traffic to pass because the road cannot accommodate two-way traffic.

Halley said the committee considered no parking signs for the block south of Burlington, but realized that would just push the problem to the next block. The committee recommended adding no parking signs on the west side of D Street from Burlington to Adams, and from Madison to Jackson.

Councilor Daryn Hamilton was curious if the property owners who live along D Street in that area had been contacted about the proposed addition of no parking signs. City Clerk Rebekah Loper said the city does not send out letters for changes to street signs.

Halley said he understood concerns about the residents losing parking spaces, but he felt improving traffic flow was more important. Plus, he said most residents along D Street have driveways.

?Public roads? primary purpose is to move traffic, and their secondary purpose is on-street parking,? he said.


Highway 1 speed reductions

The city and the Iowa Department of Transportation appear poised to reduce speed limits on South Highway 1 between Fillmore Avenue and the Highway 34 bypass. The transportation committee recommends reducing the speed limits by 5 miles per hour, which would affect two signs in each direction between those two roads. Halley said the DOT wants a chance to read through the final language before signing off on it, but seems amenable to the change.

?I think people will appreciate slightly slower speeds in that area,? Halley said. ?South Main Street seems to be the most popular bypass.?


Washington diagonal parking

The transportation committee recommended changing the parking on Washington Avenue between Main and B streets from paralel parking on the south side to diagonal parking. This will allow more vehicles to park along the street. It will also reduce speeds on the street, since Halley said one way to do that is to make a street narrower.

The change will make the parking on that block of Washington Avenue the same as between Main and Second streets.

Changing the type of parking will require removing the old lines and painting new ones.

A company in Des Moines uses a high pressure water system to remove old lines without scarring the asphalt.

Halley said that, if the high pressure water works on Washington Avenue, it could be used later if the city converts the downtown streets from one-way to two-way and has to reline parking spots.