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City works with residents to find a solution for South Knoxville parking shortage

Under a new pilot program, residents can apply for a hang tag that allows them to park on Phillips Ave. No other vehicles are allowed to park there.

The City of Knoxville has launched a pilot program in an effort to making parking easier for some South Knoxville residents.

According to the city, people who live in the 700, 800 and 900 blocks of Phillips Avenue – between Barber and Empire streets – are having a tough time finding street parking because it's taken up by patrons of nearby businesses, especially at night. In some cases, vehicles are sometimes blocking alleys and driveways. 

“There’s been a lot of recent investment in the South Waterfront commercial district, and unfortunately, that’s caused some growing pains,” said Rick Emmett, the City’s Downtown Coordinator, who also serves as a liaison between South Waterfront stakeholders.

The residents asked for help, and city officials worked with residents to come up with a first-of-its-kind pilot program in Knoxville.

Local residents can now sign up for tags to hang from their rearview mirrors. The city has now allocated street spaces on Phillips Avenue for those vehicles with the tags. Signs were posted in the area this week.

“The residents asked for the City’s help with parking issues, so City Engineering studied possible solutions and worked with the neighborhood to come up with this pilot program. We intend to monitor the situation and see if reserving some on-street parking spaces for Phillips Avenue residents will remedy the problem, at least for the residents.”

The city said 85% of the residents have already applied for the tags, which started being mailed last week. If you live in the area and want to get one, contact Parking Systems Manager Mark Elliott at melliott@knoxvilletn.gov.

Emmett acknowledged that parking is limited in that area. He said there are additional spaces available for business customers that are slightly less convenient and often underused. 

Shared parking may be another part of the solution, he said, where daytime businesses could make their parking available to neighboring businesses that are open at night, or vice versa.