Would changing the parking limit to one hour improve available parking in downtown McMinnville? That measure, among others, will be under consideration.
The idea to reduce the parking limit from two hours to one hour on Main Street came from downtown business owners, said Alderman Ryle Chastain, as a way to improve parking conditions if the city moves forward with relocating the Driver Testing Center into City Hall.
“I’ve received seven or eight emails from people downtown requesting we consider it,” Chastain said during Tuesday night’s Safety Committee meeting. “I guess we need to see what we do about the Driver Testing Center because that’s where the concern is.”
Alderman Everett Brock has heard similar comments.
“I’ve been talking to people downtown and the one thing that gets repeated to me is changing to one-hour parking,” said Brock. “It’s been repeated to me I don’t know how many times that the people who are using it for an hour or two are actually getting three to four hours depending on when the girl chalks your tires up."
Continued Brock, "Those people can go over and park in the back lots and leave those spaces for people who are just running into pay a water bill or whatever. Both banks told me they thought that would be a good idea, plus a couple of the retail businesses.”
Alderman Mike Neal says he would also like to consider moving the loading zones out if the center moves in.
“I would also like to look at the possibility of doing away with loading zones,” said Neal. “Nobody uses those. UPS and FedEx won’t pull into them because they are not supposed to back up. Everybody is double parking. If the driver thing passes, that will give us a few more parking spaces.”
Consideration will be also be given to extending the lines up onto the side of the sidewalks to be visible when motorists are attempting to park in between the lines.
“I would still like to see our parking places marked up on the sidewalk,” said Neal. “It would help so much with parking if you could see the line painted up the side of the sidewalk.”
City administrator Bill Brock added, “We are going to repaint the lines this summer and go up the sidewalk onto the flat area. It’s about a six-inch area.”
No decision was made regarding reducing the time limit to one hour, increasing enforcement or removing loading zones. The proposed changes will be discussed at a later committee meeting.