BLANCHESTER — Be mindful of where you park at Friday’s Blanchester High School football game with Wilmington.
Blanchester Local Schools Supt. Dean Lynch received notification from Chief of Police Scott Reinbolt notifying the district his office is planning strict enforcement of the fire lane parking during all home football games, the next one being Friday night.
“The (police) department has retained the services of two towing companies and will be assigning three officers to monitor vehicles parking in a fire lane,” Lynch said.
The letter to the district came after numerous complaints from Jason Steinbeck, fire inspector with Marion Township Fire District, of people continuing to park in fire lanes at the school, according to a press release from the school district. The most recent complaint being made to the Clinton County Sheriff’s Department.
“Event parking behind the school has been an ongoing issue for the last couple of years, during Spring events, which we seem to have corrected with the help of chief Reinbolt and his officers,” said Lynch. “However, Mr. Steinbeck completed an inspection during our first home football game on Aug. 24 and found continued fire lane violations, one of which was vehicles parking in the grass next to the school. Fire code requires a 150 feet area (of no parking) from the exterior walls around the entire school building.”
The facilities were not designed for event parking to be in the back of the school where our athletic fields are located, according to Lynch. Instead, for safety reasons, event parking was planned to be in the student parking lot or in front of the school buildings away from the athletic facilities.
Using the American Showa business parking lot across Cherry Street from the school is not an option for large events, Lynch said, because of liability concerns in crossing the busy roadway to the school’s campus.
Lynch said the school has received calls concerning the misuse of marked handicapped parking spaces. There are 22 handicapped spots available, two at the board office, six at the high school, 10 between the middle and high school, and four at the intermediate school.
“Parking at all athletic events should be in designated areas,” Lynch said. “Community members and guests planning on attending the game should respect the handicapped areas and use the student parking lot or the lot in front of” the schools.