In August, the Lee Road branch of Heights Libraries, in partnership with the City of Cleveland Heights, took steps to improve parking lot safety for customers with new signage and the creation of a drop-off zone on Dellwood Avenue.
“We’ve had some challenges with customers parking in the fire lane,” said Security Manager Kevin Echols. “Aside from the worst possible scenario, where an emergency vehicle could be blocked, cars parked in the fire lane cause a ripple effect of problems, like preventing parked cars from backing out, forcing cars to drive around them, and creating congestion and frustration that can lead to accidents.”
To address the concerns, Echols spoke to Kara Hamley O’Donnell from the city’s Planning and Development Department and the police department’s Sargeant Robert Butler, suggesting that a portion of nearby Dellwood could be used as a drop zone for drivers dropping off able-bodied library customers. The city agreed and put up signs on Dellwood allowing one-hour and three-hour parking.
“Parents dropping off or picking up kids at the Library are strongly encouraged to use Dellwood now,” said Echols. “Adults can use it, too.”
Ohio law makes an exception for mobility-impaired customers, who can use the handicapped curb cut in front of the building for brief drop off and pick up, but drivers cannot stay in the fire lane for longer than the time it takes their passengers to get in or out of the vehicle.