BELLAIRE - A plan to make crossing Belmont Street a little safer for senior citizens in downtown Bellaire was struck down in a 4-2 vote this week.
Bellaire Councilwoman Pat Thomas modified her proposal for four-way stop signs in the city, paring the list from three to two. Thomas broached the subject on the Bellaire Village Council floor at the previous meeting in September, noting it was needed so that foot traffic could safely make it from one side of Belmont Street to the other. At the time, police Chief Mike Kovalyk voiced his opposition because the installation of the signs would create traffic flow problems, he said.
Thomas' new plan was to have one one four-way stop at 33rd and Belmont streets, close to the Carnes Apartments, along with one at 32nd and Guernsey streets for the residents of the Shepherd Apartments.
''This will be good for the older people because the traffic going through (downtown) is way too fast,'' Thomas said. ''This way, they will be able to get across the street and go shop or go to get something to eat at one of the restaurants.''
Initially, after Thomas made her motion, there was talk of taking a potential ordinance back to the committee level with the Safety Committee. Thomas pushed for the vote, since this topic was discussed at a previous safety meeting. Councilman Jim Williams seconded the motion, although he and Thomas were in the minority once the roll call vote was taken, losing out 4-2.
Thomas expressed her disgust with the result.
Later, however, a motion from Thomas was successful when she requested that two parking spaces in front of a barber shop at 3018 Belmont St. needed two customer-only parking signs, to be enforced only during business hours, because the shop's customers have had issues finding parking spaces. That motion passed 6-0.
A pair of ordinances were given their first reading, with village Solicitor Ed Sustersic requesting prior to the reading that the ordinance's titles be read only, instead of the entire ordinance. He also asked that each ordinance received the full three readings at three separate council meetings instead of voting to suspended the three-reading rule and moving toward passage Thursday.
Ordinance 2012-08 deals with ''regulating sexually oriented businesses in the village of Bellaire. Ordinance 2012-09 deals with ''prohibiting criminal conduct in sexually oriented businesses in Bellaire. The second reading will be held on Thursday, Oct. 18 at 6 p.m. during the next meeting.