City reminds parade watchers not to set out chairs too early

July 1 promises to be a busy day along the Fourth of July parade route in Warren.

The City of Warren issued a press release last week reminding spectators that “the placement of seating and the cordoning off of areas for parade viewing” is not permissible prior to July 1 after city council banned the early placement by Resolution number 2894 last July.

The ordinance reads that chairs may be placed no earlier than 72 hours before the parade, meaning the earliest chairs can be legally placed along the parade route is 11 a.m. on Monday, July 1.

“While the City recognizes that early placement of spectator seating along the Fourth of July parade route is a long-standing tradition, the duration of such placement in recent years has posed significant public safety and maintenance concerns,” according to the release.

The release defines “significant public safety and maintenance concerns” in four ways:

“Chairs placed at the curb line make it difficult, if not impossible, for passengers to safely exit from the passenger side of parked cars. This is of particular concern for individuals with physical challenges and for those who have young children exiting the vehicle.”

“The various types of seating and the means used to cordon off areas present obstacles and safety concerns for emergency services which may be required to respond to an area.”

“Unsecured chairs pose a safety threat in the event of high wind/storm situations.”

“The City’s mowing contractor is faced with either expending excess time in attempting to move chairs, benches, etc. in order to complete the mowing or not mowing the area involved.”

In addition to prohibiting seat placement and cordoned areas, the resolution also indicates that “the placement of cones or other objects, cordoning, or otherwise marking by any means any sidewalk, public right-of-way, or City property adjacent to a parade route for purposes of reserving a parade viewing area is prohibited.”

The resolution adds that all seating for a parade is to be removed by 9 p.m. on the day of the parade.

Department of Public Works Director Mike Holtz on Monday said that chairs placed prior to July 1 will be picked up by his department and taken to the DPW garage where they can be claimed. He said that he does not expect pre-July 1 seating to be a significant issue and is hopeful that people will abide by the ordinance.