The City of Knoxville is preparing drivers for big changes to parking rules along the south side of Gay Street by having parking enforcement officers issue warnings for visitors who overstay.
City officials installed new signage along Gay St. in February, spanning from Summit Hill Drive to Hill Avenue, alerting drivers to the changes. However, they hadn't begun enforcing the rules until this week.
Even so, Public Building Authority (PBA) Lt. Joel Weeks says they won't issue actual tickets until the first of October. Until then they are giving out warnings.
Weeks has spent the week making a concerted effort to get business owners to pay attention to the new rules, and alert their customers. He also speaks with drivers he sees parked along the road to let them know changes are coming.
The city contracted with PBA to provide enforcement officers along Gay St., but the tickets still carry the same fines and repercussions as tickets issued by KPD.
The new rules allow drivers to park along Gay St. for two hours at a time before having to move their car. The enforcement hours have been expanded from 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week.
City officials hope the changes will create more turnover and prevent residents from parking along Gay St. for extended periods of time which ties up spots customers might otherwise use.