DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – All it took to eliminate a Dallas family’s street parking in front of their home was a single complaint.
In the land of the free and the home of the brave, Mark and Jean Nacol are in their own “perilous fight” over parking.
Last fall, a sign appeared on their street without warning.
The city of Dallas deemed the 55 feet in front of the Nacol’s home a “safety zone,” which means no one can park there.
One neighbor filed a complaint with the city. The service request reads, “…Need no parking to corner because of obstruction to visibility.”
“[A] person ought not be deprived of liberty and of property without some due process,” said Mark Nacol.
The city granted the request, even though the HOA president signed an affIdavit, swearing he’s never witnessed an accident, potential wreck or close encounter in the 10 years he’s lived there.
“It’s a loophole that one person used to create a lot of trouble for a lot of nice people,” Nacol said.
A fire hydrant sits at the corner of Nacol’s property on Waterside Drive. A city ordinance prohibits parking within 15 feet of a hydrant, but the safety zone extends 40 feet beyond that buffer.
The safety zone eliminates at least two viable spots in front of the Nacol’s home where parking is already limited.
“They just took everything!” said Nacol, who argues he should be allowed to park in front of his driveway if he wishes.
In a phone conversation, a spokesman for the city of Dallas stated, in fact, one complaint can prompt the creation of a safety zone, even without a record of crashes, traffic studies, or previous safety concerns.
But the spokesman declined to speak specifically about the Nacol’s situation.
“At this time, we are unable to speak about this specific property, though I want to provide some information that might be helpful,” spokesman Corbin Rubinson later wrote in an email.
Rubinson issued the following statement:
“The Dallas Department of Transportation regularly conducts traffic engineering studies to keep roads in Dallas safe, and responds to requests from residents concerned about traffic safety. When a resident contacts 311 to report a concern, a traffic engineer visits the location to investigate. Potential outcomes from this visit include the removal of parking meters or parking spaces, or the installation of a safety zone. Even if there is no study done, there are some situations where parking is still not allowed, such as in front of a fire hydrant. These measures are taken to prevent traffic collisions, particularly very dangerous right-angle crashes, which result in the most injuries.”
The couple worries, if it could happen to them, it could happen to anyone.
“This thing is very unfair and unfortunate and I’m just hopeful that somebody will take a little time to re-examine it,” Nacol said.
After the Ones for Justice contacted the city of Dallas about the Nacol’s situation, spokesman Corbin Rubinson said in a phone conversation the city will be sending another engineer to check if the safety zone is needed.