You asked: Proper parking being enforced

Published 11:51 am Saturday, March 3, 2012

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You asked: Why has parking in the fire lane at Franklin Plaza been allowed to happen?

FRANKLIN—The Franklin Police Department can write $10 tickets for drivers who park in fire lanes, said Lt. Tim Whitt.

The property manager of the Franklin Plaza shopping center that includes Dollar General, AutoZone and the CHKD Thrift Store complies with city code by having a yellow curb marker that designates a fire lane. No one is allowed to park there, Whitt said. If the yellow paint isn’t visible, it’s hard to enforce.

“Nowadays people don’t know what a yellow curb means, especially younger drivers,” he said. “That’s why signs work better.”

While Franklin police enforce regulations, the department doesn’t have officers who work exclusively on parking violations.

Franklin Fire and Rescue Deputy Chief Mark Carr sees a lot of people make quick stops and park in the fire lane, but parking in the restricted area makes it tougher for firefighters in emergency situations. Fire lanes are also collapse zones for many local buildings.

“If the building were to collapse it is likely debris could fall in the fire lanes,” Carr said.

He blames the problem on drivers forgetting the rules.

“I think we all realize it when we take our driving test, but we only take it once,” Carr said. “I think we forget these things.”