Home Local News Your next trip downtown could result in a parking ticket

Your next trip downtown could result in a parking ticket

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eExtra News


Your next trip downtown could result in a parking ticket if you’re not mindful of how long you’re parked.

“We have had a two-hour parking restriction in downtown for many years,” said Paris City Manager John Godwin. “Like in downtowns across the country, this is a technique used to prevent drivers from camping all day in a spot and thereby making it difficult for customers to get to stores, restaurants, offices, etc.”

Godwin said Paris police officers will periodically chalk tires and write parking tickets to remind folks the law is on the books and encourage them to comply voluntarily. The law in Paris went into effect Oct. 10, 2016.

“They wrote several last week, partially in response to general complaints about drivers taking up spots in front of local businesses,” Godwin said. “Parking availability is extremely important for a successful, growing downtown, so we will continue to enforce the law when needed.”

Daryl Felsberg, owner of Olive Paris, said ticketing people could discourage folks from coming downtown.

“I do think ticketing people for parking past the two-hour limit could possibly set us back from all of the progress we have made in downtown Paris over the past five to seven years,” he said. “We certainly don’t want to punish people when they do come downtown.”

Barry Shelton, assistant city manager of McKinney, Texas, who has a thriving downtown area said the city did a study in 2004-2005, which resulted in a two-hour parking limit as well.

“We wrote down license plates of cars every hour, on the hour, to try and figure out how long people were parking downtown,” he said. “With that, we then went to the public for input. We did public outreach, ran videos and came up with a proposal for a two-hour limit.”

Paris Police Chief Bob Hundley said the enforcement days in Paris’ downtown are not near as often as they need to be.

“There are downtown retail businesses who rely on parking for their customers and we do field complaints about employees from downtown businesses using most of the parking,” Hundley said.

Shelton said merchants in McKinney began complaining, as well.

“The city hired parking officers as a result,” he said. “This was cheaper than using police officers.”

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He said as the tickets started to come in, he saw complaints on the other side of the issue as well. He said the city then went to a three-hour limit on parking.

“This seemed to help with the tickets,” he said. “Now, though, the merchants are pushing for parking meters rather than writing any tickets at all. Most people in an urban area expect parking meters. I don’t think I could say the same for a rural downtown.”  

Felsberg had the same idea about parking meters, saying they would be better than parking tickets.

Godwin said Paris doesn’t have any plans for parking meters in the near future.

“I do think when all of the downtown road construction is completed things will settle down and there will be more parking for all,” Felsberg said. “We do hear frequently that downtown is dead. My question is, if it is so dead, then why do we now have parking issues?”

Tell us what you think:

 

Amanda Cutshall
Amanda Cutshall is the managing editor of eExtra News. She has been in the news business since graduating university four years ago, originally starting at The Paris News and eventually moving over to eExtra News to reach a larger readership...

8 COMMENTS

  1. Concerning parking downtown. This is my hometown and I have lived here for 64 years. That being said, we have had meters in years gone by and we have had Meter men whose main job was to drive around downtown marking tires with chalk, We have had two hour limits. Truth is, some people are just inconsiderate. Some are that way on purpose while others don’t realize they are causing an inconvenience to the shop owners and customers wanting to get closer to those shops. I remember when the parking lot behind the courthouse was full of parking meters. I believe 2 hours is plenty of time. If you give them 3 they will take 4. It has to end somewhere. Parking meters make it hard on our elderly and those of low income so why penalize them for the inconsiderate actions of someone else. It seems to me our little town is in need of a memory jog. Go back to the things we learned in Kindergarten and the golden rule. And somewhere in the back of my mind it seems there was a one hour parking limit as well at one time.

  2. OK. I meet my mom & sis downtown to eat at Jaxx Burger & hit an antique shop or 2…we were downtown eating & shopping pver 3+ hrs. (btw we spent over $400). I think shop owners & employees need off-street parking. That’s where your big problem lies!

  3. Sudden enforcement without public notice seems abrupt and unfair. I believe merchants should leave the parking spaces for customers (read, don’t park right in front ALL DAY), but why not make an announcement ahead of time?

  4. As an owner and one time shop owner I understand the dilemma . The parking around the square SHOULD be for our patrons that come to shop around our square. 2 hours is NOT enough time for shopping & eating. Maybe the idea of a parking meter might help? Not sure.
    The main problem I feel is off square parking. Shop owners, employees & those that live downtown need parking lots with ample lighting & security cameras. Will the city take this on using our tax dollars? We definitely need to address this problem!
    I’ve had to walk to a dark parking lot after working there all day….gets pretty scary!

  5. Dont ticket people for parking for 2 hours, when your spending money at these buisness’s ,people need somewhere to park without having to move every 2 hours or worry about getting a petty ticket. Also people who work downtown dont have parking in the back lots sometimes.

    The police department doesnt need more money. Let us park without being harrassed. Or build some better parking

  6. This is an ordinance that could largely make a negative impact on the work that the downtown association and wonderful business owners have put into revamping our beautiful square. Our downtown is in need of MORE visitors and this will just scare people from wanting to spend the day/evening at the many local shops that help make our downtown what it is. A few tickets here and there will make a minuscule impact on the city’s revenue; however, those tickets have the potential to deter MANY shoppers, diners, etc. Is that benefit worth the risk? I think not

  7. Where can employees and shop owners park? Downtown Paris is still laid out for horse and buggy days. Fix the parking problem with more marking. Or maybe put the hitching posts and rails back up.

Comments are closed.