Monmouth to enforce downtown parking

The two-hour parking on a section of Monmouth Avenue will now be enforced.

Photo by Emily Mentzer
The two-hour parking on a section of Monmouth Avenue will now be enforced.

MONMOUTH — The Monmouth Police Department started parking enforcement on a stretch of Monmouth Avenue on Thursday.

The action is at the request of the Monmouth City Council, approved at a Nov. 21, 2017, meeting, said City Manager Scott McClure.

The issue of parking downtown has come up at various council meetings through the years, mostly brought up by downtown business owners.

“We’ve had periodic, ongoing discussions about parking in the downtown,” McClure said. “In this case, when we looked, is it universal or are there really some areas worse than others.”

Most of the parking in downtown is variable, McClure said, but in some areas parking congestion is more prevalent than others.

A two-hour parking limit will be enforced on Monmouth Avenue from the corner of Main Street for about two blocks, near where the alley intersects the street, McClure said.

The council took into account the fact that, if a limit was enforced much beyond the alley, it would affect homeowners and residents, McClure said.

“A good chunk of the issue here is the influence of Western Oregon (University),” he said. “Tons of people taking up those spaces are either employees or students at Western, so we’re going to try it and see if it works.”

Solving parking is not as easy as it sounds, McClure said.

“It’s like squeezing a water balloon, because they will go somewhere else,” he said. “Are they going to go to a different part of downtown, or push out into the neighborhoods?”

In a release from the MPD, it states that the community service officer, who will be responsible for monitoring and enforcing the two-hour limit, will work first on educating people about the time limits.

McClure said he has not seen Monmouth enforce a parking limit in his 11-year tenure as city manager for Monmouth.

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