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Grace Church parking situation improves on nearby Middleburg Heights streets

MIDDLEBURG HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Residents living in neighborhoods adjacent to Grace Church in Middleburg Heights are experiencing relief from problematic parkers.

For many years, parishioners have parked in every available curb space along Lanier Drive, Glenridge Avenue and Briarcliff Parkway to avoid dealing with congestion in the Pearl Road church’s parking lots during weekend worship services and weeknight parish activities.

At the city’s May 13 Safety Committee meeting, residents acknowledged to Mayor Matt Castelli that the situation has improved in recent weeks.

"I know Grace Church has communicated to its membership asking them not to park on those streets," Castelli said. "I think that has been effective. We all want to be good neighbors to each other."

Associate Pastor Steve Harper told the committee that Grace Church actively has been monitoring the side streets to make sure parishioners are complying with the church’s request. Police Chief Ed Tomba said he has seen improvement in the parking situation as well, and plans to add a bicycle patrol for additional enforcement.

“In the summer, I will have officers ride over there and feel free to handle any issues,” Tomba said, noting that the police department, when requested, will use traffic cones to accommodate Lanier/Glenridge/Briarcliff residents who periodically need reserved street parking at their homes for special social events.

The mayor cautioned everyone to pay attention to the permanent road signs along Briarcliff.

“You are allowed to park on one side of the street and not the other,” Castelli emphasized. “If you park on the ‘No Parking’ side, you’re going to get a ticket.”

While it appeared that neighborhood residents want to be optimistic about the improved parking issue, they’re not convinced it will last.

“As soon as this all clears out, I believe it’s going to go right back to the way it was,” one woman said. “That church is too strong.”

Read more stories from the News Sun here.

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