The Newest News in Parking


The Newest News in Parking

The biggest changes in parking I’m seeing in my hometown lately are that there is a lot of it, and that some of it is being taken over by people eating out. These things would be bizarre during normal times, but are just one of many developments brought on by the pandemic. I’m not complaining about either. Parking news around the country reports other adaptations, as well as good deeds, policy changes, and the challenges of enforcement that go on no matter what’s happening in the world. Some of these are from 

Dinner Tables in Parking Spots as Restaurants Try to Survive Los Angeles Times

Tents, easy ups, barriers, strings of lights and tables spread out wide – and not just in Los Angeles. The food comes in take-out containers either way, but people can sit near the restaurant and eat it. Cities across the country are making way for more outdoor dining; restaurants are trying to make it as enjoyable as possible; people are dying to get out of their houses. There’s no telling what happens when winter sets in, but patio heaters are a thing.

Stop Parking on Highway Shoulders When You’re Having Fun

In Washington State, record numbers of outdoor enthusiasts are clogging up highways with illegal parking tactics. One popular hiking and swimming area was so packed that residents could not get out of their driveways, and emergency vehicles could not access the vicinity. There were reports of children jaywalking in a 60-MPH zone and cars parked willy-nilly. The state says social media and the pandemic have helped create out-of-control crowds. State officials have given warnings, handed out tickets, posted signs, and now they are going to start towing.

Nearly 10 Years of Downtown Memphis Parking Tickets Might be Invalid

About 10 years ago, members of the Downtown Memphis Commission were tasked with enforcing parking regulations in their city center. The city says delegating parking enforcement was intended to free up police officers for more important work. A Memphis resident who received a ticket in 2016 thought he’d rather get his tickets from someone with the legal authority to write them. He sued the city and won. Now he’s taking about a class-action lawsuit. 

North Buffalo Parking Lot will Become Pop-up Drive In The Buffalo News

Where there’s a will, there’s a way. People desperate for entertainment get creative. A man in the Buffalo area is turning an empty neighborhood parking lot into a pop-up drive-in. He’s calling it Dark Alley Drive-In and showing movies like “Purple Rain” and “Toxic Avenger.”

Rochester Parking Enforcement is Back in Full Force

In Minnesota, Rochester residents have been enjoying free parking and a reprieve from renewing parking permits. The city kindly stopped enforcing parking rules in March when the pandemic lockdown began. Warnings have been given and notices posted that meter charges and parking permit enforcement will resume. Residents be aware – some things are going back to normal, and parking is one of them.

Get Your Live Music Fix with These Parking Lot Tucson Concerts

As bars, theaters and concert halls sit empty, parking lots are taking over as entertainment venues. In Tucson, the Gaslight Theatre and the Oro Valley Gaslight Music Hall are opening their parking lots to carloads of music lovers. For $30 per carload, attendees can hear a George Strait tribute artist; The Tributaries, featuring Ronstadt’s niece Mindy Ronstadt; and a Salute to the Eagles.

Springfield Extends Free Downtown Parking to Boost Local Economy

Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder wants to make parking, shopping, and dining in the city’s downtown area easier, so it will be free until Labor Day. Most of the people who work downtown are relocated to home offices for the time being, so there is plenty of room.

Lincoln Man Opens RV Parking Lot to Support Students

In Lincoln, Montana, a Vietnam veteran named Steve Hartman bought a parking lot just so he could use it to raise money for his local school district. What he’d first envisioned as an inn made up of treehouses became an RV park. No reservations are required and $10 per day fees are left in a locked drop box. Only the school district has a key to the lockbox. Hartman does not have children, but considers the people of Lincoln to be his family.

Baltimore Warns of Potential Flooding, Opens Parking Garages, Offers Sandbags

With Hurricane Isaias bearing down on the east coast, city leaders in Baltimore did what good city leaders do to help their residents. They alerted people in low-lying areas of possible flooding, provided sand bags, and opened parking garages for the storage of vehicles. It’s all right there in the headline.

Drive-up Food Distribution Set for Johnstown Galleria Parking Lot

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank hosted a Drive-Up Food Distribution event in August at a mall parking lot. About 850 shares of groceries were handed out. The parking lot created room for physical distancing to keep volunteers and recipients safe. Recipients were asked to stay in their cars while volunteers loaded groceries into trunks or backseats. Reservations were required, but no proof of eligibility. 

Good Samaritan Finds Rightful Owner of $500 Found in Parking Lot of Macon Kroger

In Macon, Georgia, a Kroger shopper lost $500 in cash and somebody picked it up. Instead of pocketing the money, the finder contacted the local paper to help return the lost wad of cash. The paper made the information public, without sharing how much money was found, and gave a deadline. If no one claimed the money by the deadline, it would be donated. All is well and the money made its way back to its rightful owner. 

Article contributed by:
Melissa Bean Sterzick
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