New street striping downtown explained

Motorcycles lined up to park in a new loading zone Sunday, July 10. The area used to be parking spaces, but after restriping a few days earlier, it's been changed to a no-parking zone.

“A yellow curb is a yellow curb.”

That’s one reminder that Nashville Utilities Coordinator Sean Cassiday would give drivers who may not understand the new striping done on State Road 135/Van Buren Street late last week.

Over the weekend, more than a half-dozen motorcyclists were ticketed for parking violations, he said.

On Sunday afternoon, more than two dozen of them had parked in front of the Artist Colony complex and Sweetwater Gallery on Van Buren Street.

That area is now hashed white and bordered by a yellow curb. Even though it used to be OK to park there, a yellow curb means “don’t park there,” he said.

All parking was eliminated from Van Buren Street during an Indiana Department of Transportation street resurfacing project this summer. Spaces were blocked off with cones for several weeks, and permanent striping was painted the first week of June.

The bump-outs where parking used to be allowed on Van Buren south of Franklin Street, in front of the Artists Colony complex and the Nashville Fudge Kitchen, are now passenger loading and unloading zones, Cassiday said.

Buses may use them instead of pulling up on East Main Street next to the Nashville House and blocking sight lines for people trying to turn. They also can be used by other drivers to drop off or pick up people or items.

Parking spaces also were eliminated from Van Buren Street in front of the courthouse and across from the old Muddy Boots restaurant on the north end of downtown.

Cassiday said some new parking spaces were created when crews restriped side streets downtown and found that some spaces were bigger than they needed to be. There’s still been a net loss of street parking, but some spaces were able to be made up on those side streets, he said.

One new addition to Van Buren is solid white lines along both sides of the road. Those are “bike paths” — though they’re not marked as such because to be official “bike lanes,” they have to be six feet wide, Cassiday said.

He said he’s been talking with the Nashville Police Department about how to make the new rules more enforceable. He’d rather not put up new signs, since the way an area is painted should signal to drivers whether or not parking is allowed.

“I want to take signs down.” he said. “We have too many signs.”

Sara Clifford has been raising a family in Brown County since 2005 and leading the Brown County Democrat since late 2009. In addition to editor, she is the beat reporter for town government and writes columns, features and general news stories.