Uintah Street in Helper is ordinarily wide enough for two-way traffic, or access for school buses and fire engines. For a few hours every now and then, though, the street gets constricted, posing problems for drivers of bigger vehicles.
That happens when there's a special event such as a big game or sports tournament at Helper Junior High School and every square inch of parking in the lot is taken. That's when cars, pickups and SUVs crowd both sides of Uintah between Main and Canyon streets and overflow onto nearby roads as well.
Citizen Brian Evans thought that was a safety hazard, and brought photographs of the congestion to the city council, asking if there was some solution, such as restricting parking on the school (east) side of the street.
"It is an issue of public safety on Uintah," commented Mayor Dean Armstrong. People don't walk as much as they used to and vehicles have gotten bigger since the street was laid out and the school was built, he added.
But council member Chris Pugliese warned that doing away with parking on one side of Uintah Street would only force vehicles to park on some other street nearby. It would not solve the problem, just export it, he explained. "So if we paint the curb red, what do we do when people a block up have the same problem?" he asked.
After a few minutes of back-and-forth discussion of a motion by council member Robert Bradley to get input on safety issues for Uintah and other streets, the council decided to paint the curb red on Uintah between Canyon and Main. They'll also confer with police and fire chiefs to see what else needs to be done about traffic flow on nearby streets.