BUCKHANNON — New parking policies that have broadened the two-hour free parking are now in effect in downtown Buckhannon.
Free two-hour parking is now available not only on Main Street between Locust Street and Friendly Way, but also North and South Kanawha streets, North and South Spring streets, Willard Way and lot number two across from the Buckhannon Post Office.
“What Buckhannon is doing with downtown parking definitely bucks the trend,” mayor David McCauley said. “In the past year, you have heard about a number of cities around us, that are increasing their parking costs. What we are doing is essentially making parking in all of downtown — on the streets — free,” he said. “All streets in downtown are free two-hour parking and up to 21 hours in the peripheral lots.”
Free 21 hour parking between 6 a.m. and 3 a.m. is available in city lot number one on South Kanawha Street, number three on North Spring Street and number six on Madison Street.
Motorists are not allowed to park in those lots between 3 and 6 a.m. without a parking permit. Parking permits for the lots may be purchased at city hall for $25 per month. No parking is allowed on the city streets between 3 and 6 a.m. to allow for street cleaning.
“That will cost us some revenue,” McCauley said. “However, we believe that loss will be compensated for as a result of people being more enticed to come down to Buckhannon to spend their money. The more money that is spent, the better our tax base is, the more appreciative our businesses are, and some of those things are not easy to quantify.”
Another big change is the way parking tickets are issued. Violators of the two-hour parking policy will receive written warnings for the first and second offense, with third and subsequent violations resulting in a $50 citation for each offense during the ensuing 24 months.
The meters have been taped over during this interim period.
“There’s going to be new signage put in a number of those spots that identify the parking policies,” McCauley said. “Eventually, all of the meters will be removed.”
The full parking policy can be found on the city’s website at http://www.buckhannonwv.org by clicking on ordinances.