Letter to Spencer Aldermen

and Larry Smith

March 27, 2008

Will it take 17 years to fix the parking issues?




From: Larry Smith [mailto:townmanager@ci.spencer.nc.us]
Sent: Thursday, March 27, 2008 8:14 AM

Subject: RE: Parking on sidewalks


Mr. Patterson, 

Chief Bennett and I met to discuss these issues from the public safety management perspective.  If I’ve missed something below or you’d like to discuss these matters further please do not hesitate to give him a call, but I thought I’d capture what we discussed for you while memory’s fresh:


Obviously any concerns of an actual hazard need to simply be called in through dispatch… he nor I would need to be involved with that call (unless the Chief actually fielded it, or the situation is such that the responding officer couldn’t handle it).  As I understand your greater question however, the first issue posed to us is whether there should be parking on the 4th St-side of the old FD in general.


The Chief pointed out that there is a shortage of public parking in the area, that no other complaints have been received within at least over the past 5 years from pedestrians using that area actually being impeded by the parking situation there, and that the spirit and intent of that ordinance based upon those things is not necessarily being violated.  However, we both fully agree that by the literal letter of the ordinance, if someone were to call dispatch and ask for an officer to respond to a situation as shown in the photograph, then the officer would likely first attempt to locate the owner of the vehicle to have them move the vehicle.  If there was a problem locating the owner, if the owner did not comply, or maybe even if the officer didn’t have time (among many other scenarios)… then yes, the officer could issue a citation and leave that on the vehicle.


The other issue was about the white Cadillac parking pulling over top of the curb in the 500 block of S Salisbury Ave.  An Alderman asked the Chief last year about this.  Chief Bennett took a look into the situation and reported back to Aldermen that it would pose more of a public safety hazard if the owner parked that car off the curb (that hazard of course increasing with every extra inch parked potentially behind the curb) than how she typically parks.  Once again however, if someone calls for an officer to respond to (any) safety hazard, the responding officer would make a determination of any the violation and handle that accordingly.


Hopefully this covers what you were asking, and I appreciate your concerns on safety within the town.



 Larry E. Smith

Town Manager

Town of Spencer

704.633.2231 Office

704.633.3837 Fax


NOTE: Pursuant to the Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA) and North Carolina General Statutes Chapter 132: Public Records, this electronic mail message and any attachments hereto, as well as any electronic mail message(s) sent in response to it may be considered public record and as such subject to request and review by anyone at any time.


 From: Dan Patterson [mailto:daniel_patterson@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Friday,
March 21, 2008 12:20 PM
To: 'Larry Smith'
Subject: RE: Parking on sidewalks




There is another issue at the old fire station.


During church hours and other church functions the fire station parking lot is full of vehicles.  This also impedes walking traffic coming south down Yadkin Avenue.  The town needs to draw two yellow lines through the parking area where the sidewalk would be.  This allows walking traffic to continue through the parking area without getting into the street.



Dan Patterson


From: Larry Smith [mailto:townmanager@ci.spencer.nc.us]
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 4:48 PM
To: Robert Bennett
Cc: 'Dan Patterson'
Subject: FW: Parking on sidewalks

Thanks Mr. Patterson:


I’m forwarding this on to Chief Bennett so that he can review it also.  I’ll get with him next week to discuss & go over any recommendations…


Have a great Easter!





From: Dan Patterson [mailto:daniel_patterson@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, March 20, 2008 1:46 PM
To: 'Larry Smith'
Subject: Parking on sidewalks




Mr. Smith,


I have enclosed a poor photo of a problem at the old fire station too long.  It does get the point across.  Earlier in the afternoon before I took this photo I noticed several elderly women parking in front of the fire station and walking into the Lodge.  At about the same time I witnessed an elderly couple, one that could not hardly walk and an old man in a wheel chair.  The were walking from Salisbury Avenue toward Yadkin Avenue.  They had to stroll into the street in order to get around the cars.  With the town ordinance that was passed about walking in the street I would say it is a shame that our Police Department has not already been forward thinking and spotting this problem.  The store owner on Salisbury Avenue up from the restaurant is still parking her car with both front wheels up on the sidewalk.  I brought this to Chief Bennett's attention several months ago and I suppose nothing has been done.


Plan of action:


I think the town should place NO Parking signs in front of the old fire station.  Contact the Board of Trustees at the Methodist Church and someone at the Lodge and notify them not to park on the sidewalk.

I wanted to give you and Chief Bennett fair warning before the next board meeting.



Dan Patterson


Today 2-2019 the Town of Spencer is still ignoring enforcing all code.



This week.

It matters who you are in Spencer



   (A)   The driver of a vehicle shall not drive within any sidewalk area, except at a permanent or temporary driveway.
(`94 Code, § 15-37)
   (B)   It shall be unlawful for any vehicle having a saddle or seat for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, including motor scooters and motor driven bicycles but excluding tractors and utility vehicles, to be operated on the sidewalks or rights-of-way of the town or on any property of the town, unless the property is a dedicated public road.
(`94 Code, § 15-41)  Penalty, see § 70.99
Statutory reference:
   Driving on sidewalks, see G.S. § 20-160


   Where sidewalks are provided, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway.  Where sidewalks are not provided, any pedestrian walking along and upon a highway shall, when practicable, walk only on the extreme left of roadway or its shoulder facing traffic which may approach from the opposite direction.  Such pedestrian shall yield the right-of-way to approaching traffic.
(Ord. 06-04, passed 4-11-06)  Penalty, see § 10.99

Notice the sign is on the wrong side of the road to be seen by pedestrians.



Bookmark§ 72.10  PARKING PROCEDURES.
   (A)   Where not otherwise indicated by this chapter, all vehicles shall park parallel to the curb and not more than 12 inches there from.
(`94 Code, § 15-70)


Now please tell me who owns and operates this vehicle?


Just imagine the amount of multi-million dollar liability there is associated with blocking the sidewalks at the old firestation and various other locations when a pedestrian/disabled/wheel chair operator gets hurt or killed while having to get into the street to bypass parked vehicles since the Town of Spencer folks have been warned of this situation for years?

Back Home