A city committee has tabled a request for “law enforcement only” parking on the west side of the Franklin County Judicial Center.

Mayor Mike Livengood said the Franklin County sheriff’s office requested the specified parking zone next to the front door of the facility to quickly transport prisoners into the court building.

He added that deputies are not always able to use the “sally port” that is specifically designed to bring prisoners into the building.

“Sometimes they are not able to use it, so they want a spot,” Livengood said.

Alderman Dustin Bailey said there already is ample parking at Franklin County buildings.

“I am a little concerned about how much parking is designated for county buildings,” he said, “especially when there are means to get in another way.”

Members of the city’s parks, building, development and public service committee asked for more information, and will also discuss downtown Union parking more in depth.

“More discussion of parking as a whole will be appreciated,” said Bailey.

Alderman Paul Arand asked why the county doesn’t designate the first spot in the lot next to the judicial center for law enforcement parking.“That is just another eight feet away,” he said. 

Alderman Vicki Jo Hooper questioned the number of handicapped spots, and proximity of them, near the judicial center.“Maybe one of those spots (on the street) should be handicapped,” she said. Downtown Parking

Livengood told The Missourian there have been three downtown traffic studies done over the course of several years, and they each have indicated that there is ample parking.“

Businesses get aggravated when spots in front of their businesses are taken up by people doing county business,” he said.

Livengood added those who are parking downtown to go to Franklin County offices also get frustrated.

“They get aggravated that they don’t get to park in front of where they want to go,” he said. 

He further added that there is no property for the city to purchase for a parking lot, nor is the funding available.

Two-Hour Limits

In 2006, aldermen agreed to relax the parking limit code for after several business owners and employees complained that customers do not use the parking lot at Mulberry and Locust streets and tickets were becoming too costly.Business owners said they were paying the bulk of the fines for tickets at the two-hour lot located off Locust Street.

The board removed the two-hour limit at the lot and all streets except Main and Locust, from Cherry Street to Springfield Avenue; and Church and Oak streets from Linden to Jefferson streets.