Paul Hahn remembers when he could park on Tennessee Street without worrying about his car.
For five years, before the street was repaved two years ago, Hahn, 44, would park his car on the west side of the 1900 block of the street without a second thought. But after the repaving was done, something changed.
"The factor is when the line was painted in the wrong place," he said.
Once Tennessee Street, between 19th and 23rd streets, had plenty of room for street parking. "You could drive a school bus down there, and it would still have room," Hahn said of the old alignment.
The repaving project moved the dividing line squarely to the middle of the street. Now, cars passing those parked along the curb have only eight feet of room to maneuver.
As Hahn and several neighbors found out, the tight squeeze has resulted in missing mirrors and several accidents caused by vehicles being sideswiped.
"Parking on the street is a have-to for us," said Hahn, whose home, like many on the street built in the 1940s and '50s, has a narrow driveway, making it difficult to exit the driveway or park multiple cars. But the realignment made it dangerous to even access the street from a driveway, he said.
Hahn said he called the city several times to complain, but no action was taken. One person told him that the vinyl traffic lines would be difficult to replace because they are embedded in the pavement.
Construction on 19th Street has increased traffic on Tennessee, compounding the problem for residents.
"We used to be able to play catch in the road, and now it seems like there's car after car," said Jay Howell, 21, whose 1996 Honda Civic suffered $1,500 of rear-end damage in early June after a collision.
"I don't want to have that happen again," he said. "My car is not worth that much, and I had to put half of what it's worth into fixing it."
Now, Tennessee Street residents are getting their wish.
Public Works Director Chuck Soules said plans for the milling and overlay, which took place in July 2006, called for new striping for the 31-foot-wide street.
After investigating the complaints of Hahn and his neighbors, the city has recommended realigning the traffic line to its old position. Soules sent traffic engineers to survey the street and they recommended the realignment, he said.
"It improves the traffic patterns. It improves the drivers' sense in terms of feeling safe," Soules said.
Soules estimates the striping to cost less than $5,000, and the project will be paid for by surplus left over from other street projects. Work on the street is expected to begin on July 14 and finish within a few days, Soules said.
Hahn was pleased to hear that the striping will be replaced, but he wishes actions were taken before cars were damaged.
"I'm obviously really glad they're doing it," he said. "At the same time, I'm a little frustrated that I had to talk to so many people over such a long period before anything happened."