Employees of the Greenhill Cemetery off Willett Drive decided to paint yellow “no-parking” lines themselves after the city engineer said their staff did not have time to paint it.
Located between the UW College of Law and the end of Fraternity Row, a stretch of Willett Drive is no longer an available parking strip. The length of road now has bright yellow “no-parking” lines and, though they may be inconvenient for student drivers, the lines are for protecting Laramie drivers and pedestrians alike.
“Well if you’ve ever driven through the cemetery or been to a funeral that the mortuaries use off the south gate road, which is the Willet road, trying to exit the cemetery was hazardous,” Scott Hunter, Laramie Parks and Recreation cemetery crew leader, said. “You could not see traffic coming from either the east or the west. Plus, you also had bikers and you had pedestrians.”
Greenhill Cemetery, run by the Laramie Parks and Recreation Department, decided to go to the Laramie Traffic Commission and request the city take out parking spaces. After city engineers did a traffic analysis and line of sight analysis, they decided to take out several parking spaces to make it safer for individuals to leave the cemetery and for pedestrians to cross that particular gate.
Approval from the Traffic Commission for the parking lines to be painted occurred on April 9, 2015. The report outlined that 225 feet of parking west of the driveway and 65 feet of parking east of the driveway would be removed, as well as three new no-parking signs to be installed at the cost of the City. On July 21, the City Council approved the proposal.
“Normally, the street division would paint those up. Over the years they just kind of forgot about it,” Hunter said. “We had an incident not too recently of a car going faster than 20 miles per hour as we had some funeral procession cars leaving the cemetery and so at that point we decided to paint it ourselves since it had already gone through the proper channels.”
City Engineer Eric Jaap said, “It was run through Traffic Commission and City Council a couple years ago and staff just hadn’t had time to paint it.”
The Street Division is operating with a reduced staff due to budget cuts.
“My staff is about half,” Street Division Manager Shane Johnson said. “So, I am down to five people, so things are taking longer to get done.”
The no-parking lines have limited the parking available on Willet and will take some getting used to.
“After a while, people just get used to it and as the new college students come and go, it will just become part of everyday life,” Hunter said.