Downtown parking limits to increase to two hours

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By Tia Lynn Lecorchick managing editor

The one-hour parking sections of Main Street will be soon bumped up to two-hour parking, according to David Nunn, city manager. “Staff met about the parking forum that was held recently, which was very well attended. We realize almost everyone has an issue with parking, but it’s not the same issue. It’s hard to give everybody what they want,” began Nunn. “We are hesitant to move beyond two-hours, but we have decided to move everything on Main Street from one-hour to two-hour parking,” said Nunn. “We are also working on new parking signs to direct employees to areas with all-day parking.” “Those are the steps we want to make, and we want take them pretty quickly,” said Nunn. Nunn clarified that the limits on parking downtown were only ever meant to deter merchants and downtown employees from utilizing the prime parking spots all day in lieu of visitors and tourists. “I think it’s understood that our police aren’t trying to give folks from out of town tickets for parking too long,” said Nunn. However, merchants have complained that their shoppers often worry about the parking limits and leave earlier than they would had it not been for the parking restrictions. “We want people to shop and eat at our restaurants without having to worry about parking,” said Nunn. One of Nunn’s proposed solutions to this dilemma is to endow merchants and the chamber of commerce with “courtesy passes” to issue to out of town visitors to place on their windshield, overriding the two-hour parking limit. “I think that is just a fantastic idea,” said Chris Hodges, city councilwoman. “We don’t want our visitors to feel rushed,” said Nunn. “We are doing everything we can to make parking a better situation for everyone. But it’s always going to be tight.”

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