Marilyn Middlemass, veteran member of the Bridgeport Democratic Town Committee, is ripping mad over illegal parking on East Main Street causing dangerous situations for drivers and pedestrians in her Upper East Side neighborhood near Beardsley Park. Deadbeats park on East Main Street, she says, to avoid paying the park entrance fee. She has complained to police and City Council members from her district, to no avail. So she made a pitch to the entire City Council Monday night. It raises a question, if requests from party regulars fall on deaf ears, what about regular folk? Here’s what she said:
I reside at 119 Hickory Street, about a block and a half from the entrance to Beardsley Park.
For the past two years, particularly on Saturdays and Sundays, I have noticed a vast amount of vehicles parked on the shoulder on East Main Street. The shoulder I am referring to is alongside Beardsley Park. This stretch of highway is notoriously known as “dead man’s curve.” Through the years, there have been many fatal and near-fatal crashes.
On Saturday, June 1st, my husband and I went out for a ride on our motorbikes. He is an experienced motorcycle rider, and I, a “new” scooter rider. We headed out of Bridgeport towards Trumbull on Route 127 (point B). As we rounded the curve near Evers Street, we couldn’t help but notice all the vehicles parked on both sides of the street and on the side street, Beverly Place (area 1). At Beverly Place, adults and children were attempting to cross the busy and cramped highway. Later, when my husband and I had stopped to take a break, we both commented that what we had seen on East Main Street earlier, was “an accident waiting to happen.”
We enjoyed our ride that afternoon and started to head home taking the same route back. As we approached Bridgeport from Trumbull on Route 127 (point A), most of vehicles we saw earlier were still there. The only difference was traffic was now backed up and moving slowly. As we approached the area circled, between area 1 and 2 we saw there was an accident that had just occurred maybe 10 to 15 minutes earlier (Police were on the scene).
In my motorcycle safety course, which I just recently completed, we are told that there are many factors present in the cause of an accident. While I am not aware of ALL the factors involved on June 1st, I know of at least one that could have been a contributing factor. That factor is that the parked cars limited the space and visibility on the road that day. In my class, we also talk about a “margin of safety.” I know I felt that I only had a small “margin of safety” while on that stretch of road (area 1) that day.
I like to have fun and enjoy myself as much as the next person. The question is “At what cost to all concerned?” The people who are illegally parking on that road are not only getting a “free day at the park,” literally, but they are also making that roadway unsafe for vehicles and pedestrians.
After making numerous complaints to the police, park police, and the council members who live in the area, I am here to plead with you all, do the right thing in this matter. See to it that the laws regarding parking on the shoulder of a roadway are enforced. Make sure that the city is reaping the rewards of people actually having to park inside the park. And most importantly, please do this so that we can limit the factors that contribute to the amount of accidents that continue to occur in this area. The next accident could easily be you or someone in your family.