Thursday, June 30, 2016

Increased parking enforcement begins

A number of downtown parking changes kick in Friday.

In an effort to manage public park, the city is installing more than 1,000 new meters, adjusting rates for on-street and garage parking, and increasing parking enforcement.

Officials say the goal is to create more turnover, but they'll get some coin out of this, too. Heh. 

You can find a great map that details the meter locations RIGHT SMACK HERE

The ideal occupancy rate for parked cars in short-term metered spaces is 85 percent in a prime city block – meaning that a motorist should be able to find a parking space within a block or so of his or her destination.

In the Cumberland Avenue Corridor, PBA officers also will be enforcing 30-minute limits in designated commercial loading zones as well as discouraging drivers of commercial vehicles from parking illegally on sidewalks or in other non-designated areas.

Starting July 1, PBA will be assigning six officers to enforce parking regulations throughout downtown. In addition, four PBA officers will be handling parking enforcement in the Cumberland Avenue area. (Affected streets in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor include Cumberland, White and Lake avenues; Melrose Place; and Mountcastle, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd streets.)

Public garage parking will remain free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays.

“There’s plenty of parking downtown, and about 90 percent of it – more than 7,500 spaces – is in garages and City-owned lots,” Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett said. “That’s clearly the best option for long-term parking.

“Short-term parkers – those visiting offices, shops and restaurants – might prefer the convenience of on-street parking, but most spaces are limited to two hours. The short-term meters will charge $1.50 an hour, versus $1 an hour to park in a garage.

“The new parking management plan will ensure regular turnover, and it’s also a more equitable way of sharing a public resource.”

Among the planned changes taking effect:
  • New meters will be installed throughout downtown, including the length of Gay Street from Summit Hill Drive to Hill Avenue that does not currently have meters. 
  • The meters will be in effect Monday through Saturday throughout downtown, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Gay Street and around Market Square, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. everywhere else.  Long-term meters (on the north end of the Gay Street Viaduct and along Depot Avenue and South Central Street) will charge 30 cents an hour, with a 10-hour limit.  
  • City-owned garages will continue to be free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and will continue to charge $1 an hour for parking during weekdays. Monthly parking rates at City-owned garages will rise by $5 a month.  
  • The monthly parking rate for weekday commuters at the Civic Coliseum parking garage will decrease to $15 a month, from its current level of $20 a month. (New trolley routes provide free service from the Coliseum garage every 7 to 8 minutes on weekdays. The garage is also only a 5-minute walk from Gay Street.)  
  • In addition to its downtown enforcement, PBA will enforce meters in the Cumberland Avenue District, between White Avenue and Lake Avenue from 17th Street west to the railroad tracks from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday (but not on home football game days).
  • Violators parking in commercial loading zones or no-parking zones will be subject to immediate towing, as will motorists with multiple outstanding tickets for meter violations.
Any funds generated from parking activities will be used to support parking infrastructure and downtown amenities. For more information about public parking in Knoxville, visit

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