Improvements To Downtown Parking Proposed By Committee

Tim Smeal, left, and Len Barry discuss ways to improve downtown parking during a work session meeting Monday of the Jamestown City Council. A Parking Advisory Committee hopes changes cut down on congestion and parking confusion downtown. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

Improvements to downtown parking may be in the city’s future.

The ad hoc Parking Advisory Committee presented its recommendations on Monday for improving parking in the central business district of the city. Members of the committee, which first met in July 2016, included downtown business owners, city administrators and officials from the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation and Reg Lenna Center for the Arts.

Committee members Tim Smeal and Len Barry presented the committee’s recommendations to the Jamestown City Council, which were proposed to decrease congestion, provide more payment options and to eliminate confusion.

Solutions presented included converting all two-hour meters to three-hour meters; changing non-lease surface lot meters to 12 hours; convert the outskirts of the central business district, Fifth and Sixth streets, to 12-hour meters; and keeping all current exceptions, which includes 30-minute meters, loading/unloading zones and handicapped spaces.

Other proposed improvements included eliminating the courtesy zone parking spaces, which would be converted to three-hour meters; no parking fee increases, which includes the ramps and lease spaces; and to accept more payment options by installing “smart” meters that would accept credit cards and the PayByPhone app, along with coins, to pay a meter.

Matt Hanley, executive assistant to the mayor, said there is no timetable for implementing the downtown parking recommendations. He said city officials are working on finding grant money to purchase the new “smart” meters. He added that there are good funding sources available to pay for the high-tech meters.

Marilyn Fiore-Lehman, city corporation counsel, said city officials would need change the city’s zoning code to eliminate the free courtesy zone parking spaces. Any improvements made to downtown parking would also need to be approved by the council.