New parking meters help crack down on parking confusion

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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) Many people enjoy a night out in downtown Knoxville. You can have dinner, shop, go to the theatre, or walk around Market Square. However, the night could all be ruined by a parking ticket.

"It's absolutely annoying, you can't find a spot anywhere, and when you do, you have to pay a ton for it, so usually I just Uber downtown so I don't have to deal with the parking," Chris Davey said.

The city has also cracked down on parking enforcement.

"Trying to get turnovers is what we're trying to do," Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett said. "We're trying to let other folks park. Our goal is to have at least one parking space available at any given block at any time."

In trying to guarantee a space, the city has added new parking meters equipped with sensors to better track how long cars have been parked to make sure they don't stay longer than two hours. The meters sense when cars are parked and force drivers to find a new spot once time is up.

Parking is usually free after 6 p.m., but sometimes drivers can see tickets received after 6. In these cases, there was a good chance cars were parked on one of the streets that has exceptions.

"There are three streets that parking is not free," Emmett said. "We enforce until 10 p.m. on Main street, Union avenue and the other street is a block off market street along Krutch Park."

Emmett said the city wants drivers to pay attention to the signs downtown, keep an eye on the time when drivers use the meters and make use of the garages in which parking is free after 6 p.m.

As an alternative to driving, bike parking is always free and you can find bike racks along major streets like Main Street.