Return To Chillicothe Downtown Parking Enforcement Supported By Chamber Of Commerce

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

(Mobile Parking App Image Supplied By Chillicothe/Ross Chamber Of Commerce)

The City of Chillicothe plans to resume downtown parking regulations enforcement in May. Parking will be enforced with an enforcement officer and monitored with refurbished meters that take coins and utilize a new mobile app that allows for easy payment for and extension of parking hours.

The Chillicothe/Ross Chamber of Commerce has published this “FAQ” letter on the merits of downtown parking meters:

We believe regular, consistent parking enforcement:

Creates traffic flow in front of businesses, allowing more visitors an opportunity to take advantage of the services offered in downtown.

Minimizes needless frustrating circles around the block to find a parking space, which also minimizes additional traffic.Allows for clear lines of sight for pedestrians and avoids blocked access for emergency services.

Pushes long-term parkers to a free, public lot (located next to Bicentennial Park off of Water Street), where they will enjoy free, limitless parking. In addition, the City has now contracted with ParkMobile to provide new meters that provide a touchless and easy way to pay for parking, while also offering a way to avoid parking tickets. Just download the mobile app and walk through the steps to pay quickly, easily, and on-demand to enjoy your Downtown Chillicothe experience.

A few frequently asked questions and statements we’ve heard:

Why are we even enforcing parking?

Safety: Parking enforcement reduces hazards in downtown. Illegally parked cars create safety hazards to pedestrians, other vehicles, and drivers, and to safety and emergency vehicles and officers.Community needs: There are a limited curbside number of spaces available in downtown, so to avoid crowded streets and abandoned vehicles, parking ordinances were created to help with these issues.

Turnover: Simply put, the parking in front of businesses should be used by customers of businesses. The essence of a thriving downtown comes down to a steady stream of visitors to the shops, restaurants, pubs, and offices in the area. By creating turnover, the number of visitors can be maximized, allowing those businesses to continue seeing a return on their investment in the downtown. Will the city manage all on-street parking? Will they issue tickets for parking violations such as loading and handicapped zones?

Yes. The parking enforcement officer will also monitor loading zones to make sure only short-term vehicles are using them and for the correct reasons. Handicapped parking violators will be cited.

The city only does this to make money.

While it is true that fines generate revenue, the intent of fines is to target habitual violators – not casual visitors. The money generated from parking fines will be minimal and is forecasted to go down over time.

This sends a bad message to downtown visitors.

It’s a far worse message when a city fails to properly manage parking. In time, traffic will flow much more freely and visitors to downtown won’t be frustrated by a lack of parking.

What if I don’t have a smartphone or a credit card?

Not a problem. The meters will continue to take coins. However, one of the great benefits of using the ParkMobile mobile app will be the convenience of adding time to your meter without having to run back to your vehicle.

Can I reserve a parking spot?

At this point, reserving a parking spot in advance is not an option. You will see the option available on the mobile app because it’s built into the framework of the app itself, but it is inoperable.

What should people who live or work downtown do?

Under city ordinance, businesses and building owners are obligated to create parking for their employees and tenants. The only free lot is located on Water Street, next to Bicentennial Park. Also, 4th Street is unmetered and can be used for parking. The Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Chillicothe are also working to make some off-street parking available to downtown residents and visitors after 5 p.m. and on weekends. In fact, the Chamber’s lot is open to the public on nights and weekends. There are other locations that make their lots available in off hours. A full list of free, off-street parking opportunities will be available soon.

And, what about those with business at the Ross County Courthouse?

Judges often advise those serving the court’s business on the areas in which they should park and handle parking fines when they encounter them. Most trips to the courthouse can be handled in the time limits for parking.

Who gets questions about parking?

The City’s Safety-Service Director, Jeff Carman, handles questions or comments about parking enforcement. He can be reached at (740) 773-2700.

Finally, this is a new way of doing things and, on occasion, change is difficult to understand in the beginning stages. Please be patient as we roll out the new procedures and enforcement.

(This document was produced by the Chillicothe Ross Chamber of Commerce, in conjunction with Downtown Chillicothe and the City of Chillicothe.)

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