HOUGHTON - The Houghton City Council voted Wednesday to ban street parking on a section of Fourth Street due to concerns over erosion.
The council had received a letter from George and Dorothy Fraki requesting a no-parking sign on the west side of Fourth Street going up between Houghton Avenue and South Avenue.
The parking has led to erosion of the road, leading to flooding in the basement of their property, located on the corner of Houghton Avenue and Fourth Street.
The west side of this section of Fourth Street between Houghton and South avenues will be closed to parking after the Houghton City Council voted this week to ban parking because of concerns over erosion. (Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Garrett Neese)
"There's a curb there, plus you get cars parking on the grass, and then they take off, spin the grass off, removing the grass covering, causing erosion," Public Works Director Mark Zenner said.
The problem is happening elsewhere, as well, due to an increase in parking on hills throughout the city, Zenner said. One spot was the bottom of Portage Street, although that seems to have diminished, he said.
Councilman Mike Needham said he saw parking at the bottom of Garnet Street last year, which he did not recall seeing before. Councilwoman Rachel Lankton said some of the parking issues in west Houghton could be the result of Michigan Tech University charging for parking.
The parking can also complicate emergency responses, Zenner said.
"When you've coming down and all of a sudden you've got a car coming up, fire trucks coming down and you've got a car parked, it's not a good situation," he said.
Council members discussed working with residents on other streets with the problem to talk about banning parking on other portions of other streets.