JPD Cracks Down on Downtown Parking

April 6, 2006--Posted at 9:30 pm

JONESBORO-- Upgrades to the crosswalks downtown have limited traffic to one lane over the last couple of weeks.

Jonesboro police say although the new additions are beneficial to the downtown area, they've drawn attention to another problem... Parking. 
     Police say they plan to practice strict enforcement with violators... But they don't want residents to think of it as a threat but rather a warning

The additions to downtown Jonesboro have given a new look and appeal to Mainstreet. City officials feel they've accomplished their goal in making downtown a welcoming place, but with the crowd of business and residential traffic, Jonesboro police have a challenge with a flood of complaints about parking violations.

"The downtown area is going through a lot of construction. There's a lot of congestion down here. Parking has become a lot more limited," Sgt. Steve McDaniel of the Jonesboro Police Department says.

Mcdaniel says everyone seems to want to park closest to their destination... Even when there's not a spot, they're taking it!

"Generally the complaints are things like parking on the fire lanes, parking in the handicapped zones without a permit... Things like parking outside the designated areas as well as parking over the time limit,"McDaniel says.

Mcdaniel says the meters downtown which have a two hour time limit have been working overtime, and many parking rules are disregarded. As a result, police plan to increase enforcement.

"We plan to just beef up the amount of officers that are down here looking for those type of violations, and also we are looking to reinstate a parking person... Dedicated to the parking situation to come down and take care of the parking on a daily basis," McDaniel says.

Many parking violators can face up to $200 in fines. In addition to the fines, offenders could also face having their vehicles towed.

"We don't want to write tickets down here... What we're looking for is voluntary compliance so we're trying to get the word out that we're going to be down here with extra enforcement trying to get people aware of the fact that there is a parking problem, and they need to pay attention to how they're parking and where they're parking," McDaniel says.