SPECIAL REPORT FROM Fox26:
In downtown Clarksville, Kentucky, signs on mostly waterfront spaces warn drivers of a problem with parking. Under the city’s business license regulations, those signs don’t identify the spaces as free.
“People will say they don’t see those signs but they definitely see the one on the top of the sign saying, ‘No parking from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day’,” says Courtney Lackey, a neighborhood advocate for the area.
We spotted the same problem at several downtown locations.
Many Clarksville residents – including the adult workers that dot the downtown streets – told Fox26 they think downtown parking is a problem.
Some workers were even caught parking in the free spaces at the city’s waterfront on Tuesday.
So how do they pay for free parking?
Several downtown businesses offer free parking spaces for employees. But the parking kiosks set up for pedestrians don’t allow people to get free parking.
“Free parking at Green P Lot was intended for our Green P store employees,” says Greg Crowe, manager of the Clarksville Green P store. “Free parking was placed in Green P Parking Lot by the parks department.”
“I pay for a municipal parking pass,” Lackey says. “My opinion of that is if they want to put up signs that you have to pay for a pass for these [permits] then they should put up the paid parking [express] lot in there.”
But it appears the new Green P lot, featuring street artwork from local artists, is not yet paying customers. City employees set up the kiosks for pedestrians to pay a $1 fee for a city-issued park pass, called a ParkPass. It is a fee-based parking pass for automobiles that permits them to enter Green P lot.
“I think it is fair. There is a time and a place for paying,” says Pamela Henderson, who lives downtown.
While Henderson thinks that Clarksville is doing a good job attracting businesses and residents to downtown, she does have concerns about the legality of free parking.
“There is free parking and there are no signs saying free parking,” Henderson says. “In our minds, it doesn’t look right, does it? It just doesn’t look right.”
According to the city website, there are free parking areas at the city’s far west side of downtown but the downtown areas are different. Free zones are recognized when no one pulls into a stall.