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Being Blocked in; New Parking Restrictions for Omaha?

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Being Blocked in; New Parking Restrictions for Omaha?

By Meghan Matthews. CREATED Mar 25, 2014

Omaha, NE - "I mean I've come out here and I have cars completely over the driveway. Just totally."

Constantly being trapped in his own driveway is a problem Richard Zajic is tired of dealing with.

"It becomes more and more of an issue, all the time."
 
His house sits along Martha Street near 14th. A busy road with lots of traffic and not much room for anything else.
 
"Cars get on both sides of my driveway. I've already got a hill to contend with anyway. As I go to back out I have no room to swing the front end so I'm gonna have to cross 2 lanes of traffic and I risk getting hit which has already happened at least twice."
 
Neighbors to the Sokol Auditorium say parking problems get even worse on the night an event. They say cars line bumper to bumper along Martha street. Most times, blocking driveways.
 
Being blocked in is a neighborhood nuisance seen all over the city. In areas like Midtown, Southeast Omaha and Northeast of 45th Street drivers try to squeeze in wherever they can.
 
"Before, current law just states you have to park smack dab in front of a driveway for an officer to do something. It was getting to the point where officers were saying I'm sorry there's nothing I can do for you."
 
City Councilman Garry Gernandt introduced an ordinance that could solve the parking pains. If passed, it would restrict cars from parking within three feet on either side of a driveway.
 
"We have restrictions on parking too close to a fire hydrant. We have restrictions on parking too close to a stop sign, this is no different."
 
Gernandt says only when a complaint is made can police ticket or tow a car.
 
"All we're asking is, give us a distance to get out of the driveways with."
 
A phone call Zajic would be happy to make. 
 
Ten neighborhood associations have responded in support of the ordinance. Council will give the final vote next Tuesday.