The issue is supposed to be traffic. Here's more about the reality of that than you want to know.


Below is how traffic works on my street. To give you an accurate picture I have taken a car that was parked on our street at the time the photo was shot and duplicated it with PhotoShop to show exactly how the traffic looks ninety percent of the time (the north side of the road is no parking, but some of the locals have figured out that's a faster way to see the display so we usually have a few cars there as well.) Basically, visitors wait patiently in line parked at the curb back down the street.

The problem occurs when a neighbor leaves a vehicle parked along the curb (most were very cooperative in that regard), forcing the line into the middle of the street. Or, on the busiest nights, when the line backs up around the corner onto Grant Street (the north/south street to the far left in this photo) where there can be congestion like they get in other parts of town if steps aren't taken to prevent it. The reason being that on Grant Street there a lot of cars park legally on the west side of the street, and when visitor traffic parks on the east (no parking) side, only one lane in the middle remains open for through traffic. Now that people know about my display, that will happen regularly if I turn on my lights in 2007. Making a mess for my neighbors that I don't want, and virtually assuring that the City will shut me down for good (three complaints, no matter the source or the ability to resolve the issue).


Here is the only shot I have of actual traffic, shot on December 11th. It's pretty typical of how things looked with traffic stretching back from between a few houses and clear to the corner. And around the corner on the worst nights right at the holiday itself.


Without actually thinking about it (obviously), the City of Ankeny holds that it's a problem that I don't live on a main thoroughfare. But, as you can see, the three-block street that I live on actually eliminates problems by eliminating the intersections where people would be coming from all four directions. My location provides a natural traffic flow that eliminates problems that would exist almost anywhere else. Most visitors to my display line up along the curb in single file from my house back to the west down 16th Street. On the busiest nights traffic will back up to Grant street (the "incoming" street marked in red to the left (west).

Traffic does not continue down into the cul de sac to the east as there is signage there (thanks to the Ankeny Street Department).


This is the route MapQuest gives you to my house. The lower right is the First Street (North) Ankeny exit. The yellow road one block west of the red route marker is Ankeny Boulevard (Highway 69), the main north/south street in town.