Letter: Park It, City "Leaders"!

Have our Knoxville "leaders" have done it again, fixing something that didn't need fixing? Many Knoxvillians may have noticed that, all along Gay Street, the previous commercial parking areas that allowed non-commercial parking from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 a.m. Monday have been altered to prohibit any daytime parking on weekends. Where one could formerly park in these spaces on Saturdays and Sundays during daytime hour to go shop, eat, or attend an event, now one receives a ticket.

This is particularly annoying on the south end of Gay down near the Bistro and Bijou. Numerous spaces were available on the south and north side of the Cumberland Avenue intersection along Gay, where one could park on Saturdays and Sundays to eat at the Bistro or attend an event at the Bijou. Park there now, receive a $16 ticket. One Saturday, I witnessed every single car parked in front of the First Tennessee Bank building with a ticket on the windshield. Never mind that the bank is closed and there are no commercial deliveries occurring.

The new signs for the commercial spaces along Gay Street look pretty much like the old signs, so the new turn of events goes something like this: 1) most people don't notice that anything has changed, 2) unwittingly park illegally where they've been parking legally for over a decade, 3) get ticketed, 4) return to their car, 5) curse. A short-term windfall for the Knoxville Police Department ensues, at least until they and the city "leaders" are sufficiently cursed and all the dupes have gotten the new and improved message.

Why has this change been made when other commercial spaces dotting the downtown have not changed? Or, do you plan to mess that up, too, but just haven't gotten around to ruining those spaces yet? Can the city tell us about any commercial deliveries occurring on Saturday and Sunday during the daytime hours to closed or open businesses that required this change? Where, specifically?

This change doesn't affect just the people trying to patronize businesses. It also affects the businesses' employees who often park in these spaces while they work on weekends, according to a couple of local business owners.

So, city "leaders," please un-do this silly change and put the old signs back up allowing parking in the commercial spaces on Gay Street and all over downtown from 6 p.m. Fridays to 6 a.m. Mondays. This was a dumb, unnecessary, and business-killing change.

Lisa Huff