PICKENS – Parking along Main Street in downtown Pickens has long been an issue of debate for merchants and citizens.
“Our Streets supervisor has recommended 20 two hour signs to cover Main Street,” said City Administrator, Katherine Brackett.
City officials hope the installment of parking signs will ease some of the concern.
“This will not solve the problem, but it’s a great start,” said Brackett.” The Mayor and I met face to face with several businesses owners on Main Street and they agreed this was a great start, but that enforcement is key, not just signage.”
According to Bracket, two hour parking in downtown has long since been law, but the city is now asking the police department to step up with enforcement.
“Posting the two hour limit that has been a law of the city for many years is a start and the police department has been asked to step up enforcement,” Brackett said. “In saying this, that does not mean we have funded a parking enforcement officer, but instead we are asking the current road patrol to make this a part of their daily activity. We are hearing it is a priority for everyone on Main Street and we work for the public so it is our intention to meet that need.”
Visitors to Main Street feel that parking limits in downtown is a good idea.
“I traveled to downtown Pickens and tried to find a parking place but I had to circle the block twice before I could find a place to park,” said longtime Pickens resident, Polly Porter- Campbell. “I think it would be a good idea to have some kind of two hour parking limit.”
Downtown merchants are also encouraged by the city’s efforts.
“During the merchant’s meeting, city officials informed the merchants of the parking signs,” said Shelia Barton, owner of Town and Country Florist. “We think that the signs will make a big improvement.”
Health Fields at Bivens Hardware said that merchants along Main Street have wanted this for a long time and they hope it will free up some of the parking issues.
“The standard two hour parking signs have been ordered, and I expect them to be posted within 30 days,” said Brackett. “Officers will be visiting downtown stores to let them know they need to make clients aware of the two hour parking ordinance and make other arrangements if they need to be there for an extended time. We recommend Legacy Square for extended parking during the day.”
The city has further plans regarding the parking issue and asks that business owners and the public become involved in the discussion.
“We have a long term, more comprehensive way finding sign plan and parking and pedestrian safety plan that is in many downtown businesses right now as we look for public input and suggestions,” Brackett said. “Assisting the businesses in our core downtown area is a top priority for the Mayor and City Council which is why I am working with the staff, especially Streets Department and the Police Department, to develop a plan of action that satisfies both the businesses and the Council.”