By a vote of four to two the Enterprise City Council voted to keep the present parking space configuration at the Enterprise City Library, rather than changing it to a slant-parking configuration. Their action essentially denied the Odd Fellows plan to provide a ramp for handicapped access to the second-floor Odd Fellows Hall, and its growing menu of events. The ramp would occupy city property, i.e. the alley between the Library and the Odd Fellows Hall. To allow space for vehicles to park and back out of spaces, the Wallowa County Planning Commission required that library parking be changed to a slanted configuration, and had approved a plan proposed by the Odd Fellows to do so.
But it is, after all, the City of Enterprises’ library parking area. Changing the parking spaces requires city council approval.
In the council meeting, the handicap access ramp itself became more of a focus than changing the parking spaces. City Council members questioned whether the proposed handicap access ramp would be damaged by vehicles that might collide with it while parking or moving down the alley, restrict emergency vehicle access through the alley, and whether pedestrians might face significant risks when crossing the alley from the library’s parking to the proposed ADA access ramp. Librarian Denine Rautenstrauch took exception to the proposed access ramp based partly on her concern that its 32 inch handrail width was not ADA compliant. “Nobody really cares about the loss of a parking space,” she said. “You’ve designed this just so it will meet the parking space requirements. I don’t think this is a strong plan. Let’s do something that lasts.”
Proponents of the changed parking configuration and the handicapped access ramp argued that there was abundant space for parking, that there was little traffic and a very low risk to pedestrians and handicapped patrons of Odd Fellows events, and that if the City of Enterprise wished them to provide additional protections or reinforcements so the ramp could withstand vehicle impacts, they would do so. Rob Taylor said that “perfection is the enemy of the good,” and asked that the City Council do the “right thing for the most people.” Dana Nave of Enterprise noted, “people need to exercise some degree of personal responsibility. If you are not a good driver, you shouldn’t be driving down a narrow alley.” Seven people who would benefit from the ramp spoke in support of the modified parking configuration. Others submitted letters.
However, the Council vote did not go their way. Library parking will remain as it is, and the Odd Fellows will have to find another way to provide handicapped access to their events.