Parking limits on Trade Street

Published 5:55 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tryon officials seeks to strengthen parking restrictions along Trade Street.

New parking overlay district with $50 fines proposed

Employees and tenants of downtown Tryon businesses may want to start looking for parking spaces off Trade Street.

Tryon Town Council is considering restricting all employees and tenants who live downtown to parking off its main street to allow for more spaces for customers.

Tryon Town Council met Tuesday, Feb. 15 and set a public hearing on a new parking overlay district for March 21. The public hearing will begin at 7 p.m. at the Tryon Fire Department.

“Technically a public hearing is not required,” said Tryon Town Manager Justin Hembree. “However, considering the nature of this new ordinance, staff feels it would be appropriate to hold a public hearing prior to approving the ordinance.”

The new regulations are proposed to be complaint driven.

The town had previously discussed issuing stickers to all downtown employees for enforcement, but some council members said they had issues with that approach due to punishing employees when they were downtown for personal matters not involving work.

Council first discussed banning downtown business employees from parking on Trade Street in December, but the town has received complaints for the past decade, mostly from merchants who say employees take up parking that should be used for customers.

The draft ordinance creates a new overlay district downtown along North and South Trade Streets between the North Trade and Palmer Street intersection and the South Trade Street and New Market Road intersection.

Fines for persons who work or live downtown and park on North or South Trade Street within the district are proposed at $50.

The draft ordinance states, “it shall be unlawful for a district employee or tenant to park a vehicle within the employee/tenant restricted parking area while such person is performing his/her duties, or, in the case of the occupant of a residential apartment or condominium, when using the space for parking for such occupancy.
The provisions of this ordinance shall be effective between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., any day except Sundays and public holidays.”

The draft ordinance exempts vehicles displaying handicapped license plates or dashboard placards and parked in spaces reserved for the handicapped.

Tryon currently has two-hour parking signs with fines of $10, but the ordinance is rarely enforced. Tryon Town

Council has battled the parking problem for years, saying that when the 2-hour limits are enforced, employees see officers marking tires and simply move their vehicles to another space.
Parking for employees is available behind downtown as well as on McCown Street across the railroad tracks.

Council has also discussed in the past creating a new public parking area beside the railroad tracks on the other side of Sidestreet Pizza.