JAMESTOWN – Organizers with the Jamestown Public Market are hoping motorists who park in an area of downtown Jamestown will be more cooperative this year once the market opens in June.
On Monday night Public Market Manager Linnea Carlson and Jamestown Renaissance Corporation executive director Peter Miraglia appeared before the Jamestown City Council’s public safety committee to voice their concerns about vehicles being parked on Cherry Street the day the market is held.
The Jamestown Public Market takes place every Saturday from June through October, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and a special event permit allows the market to close Cherry Street between Second and Third Streets from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. that same day. That event permit also includes blocking off the street to ensure no parking during that time period.
However, Carlson noted that last year there were recurring problems with vehicles that would park on the street the night before and still be parked on the street that morning at 8 a.m.
“What we have done in the past is on Fridays we put up our own signage, but it really doesn’t do much. People still park there,” Carlson explained. “We want to find an easier solution because when I get there we have to find a way to get these cars off the street. We have resorted to contacting the police department to see if they can run the license plate and find out who owns the car. Sometimes that works, but sometimes it doesn’t.”
Carlson added that when vehicles are in the area, they create a safety problem for those who work at and also visit the market once it is in session.
“There were two instances when we couldn’t get a car moved before the market opened at 10 a.m. I couldn’t put a vendor in that spot, I have to leave the car in the middle of the market, and I can’t watch that car the entire market because I’m the manager, I have to be all over the place. And then the person returned to their vehicle at noon while the market is in full session. I have a hundred people in the street and they get in their car then drive through the market,” Carlson said. “We have children, we have families, we have people that live at Covenant Manor and Hotel Jamestown so it’s been a consistent issue for us.”
Carlson added that the market does have the authority to call police and work to have vehicles towed from the street if they are there during the restricted time period, but would prefer not to if possible. Jamestown Police Chief Harry Snellings also noted that the police did that once last year and the city is now being challenged on the legal authority to have a vehicle towed when there is no city law or city issued sign, clearly stating that parking is restricted during the time period mentioned.
After explaining the problem, Carlson asked the city could post signs that clearly stated the hours parking isn’t allowed on the street during the designated hours. Committee chair Maria Jones said the officials would look into the issue of posting signs with the city department of public works.
The Jamestown Public Market opens on Saturday, June 8.