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Published: Monday, 5/12/2014 - Updated: 2 years ago

Sylvania making parking easier for visitors

City to place more signs to direct visitors to public lots

Cars are parked behind Chandler Cafe on Main Street in Sylvania. Consolidating parking lots in the area could cost at least $800,000. Cars are parked behind Chandler Cafe on Main Street in Sylvania. Consolidating parking lots in the area could cost at least $800,000.

Corrected version: Updates statement by Councilman Katie Cappellini.

Sylvania city officials say they have made some progress on the downtown parking situation and plan to place more signs in the area to direct visitors to public lots.

Bill Sanford, economic development director, said downtown business employees have obliged requests to park in the back of the municipal parking lot on Maplewood Avenue next to the police department. The city fielded complaints previously that employees were parking in the spots closest to the shopping center.

Officials also have created more open parking in the municipal court parking lot, next to the municipal lot, by removing one garbage bin, and relocating three others to the back of the lot.

Sanford added the administration also is considering reconfiguring the municipal lot to add more space. That plan will be reviewed this fall. The city also is investigating the cost of more signs to direct visitors to public spaces. The city would like to use Harmon Sign Co., the Toledo firm that created the green signs at the corner of Main Street, for the job.

In March, city council’s economic development subcommittee made parking problems a priority. Officials said customers have complained, and more space is needed to attract businesses.

Part of the plan to address parking will be to ask owners of lots that are used by the public on Summit Street about merging the lots for easy navigation. Mr. Sanford said at a May 5 meeting that the owners have agreed to consolidate the lots. Located behind Chandler Cafe and KeyBank buildings, the lots are divided by railings and curbs.

Kevin Aller, service director, said consolidation could cost at least $800,000, which the parking lot owners are unwilling to pay. Officials asked why it was so expensive.

“With trees and poles, the whole thing would have to be reconstructed. It would have to be done from scratch, maybe not the stone base, but irrigation, electrical, drainage lines would all have to be redone,” Mr. Aller said.

“That is the doorway to downtown. I think we should fix it. The whole downtown uses it. Someone needs to step up; it’s a mess,” Councilman Katie Cappellini said, adding the city should pay for the project.

Mr. Aller said angled parking on Main Street north of Maplewood Avenue was not practical solution to the city’s parking problems. He said substantial curb cuts necessary for angled parking would minimize spaces. He also noted the cost was at least $500,000, and because of limited space it would mean using green space to construct.

Members of the economic sub-committee will review the recommendations and are expected to present specific requests for the administration at 8:30 a.m. Friday, in Council Chambers, 6635 Maplewood Ave.

Contact Natalie Trusso Cafarello at: 419-206-0356, or, or on Twitter @natalietrusso.

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