Parking Restrictions Lifted in Downtown Decatur


DECATUR- The restrictions on what sort of vehicles can park in the angled spots in downtown Decatur have been struck down by the city manager.

Cars fill the angled spots on the east side of main street. But big vehicles in these spaces drove a lot of calls to City Manager Ryan McCrady.  The callers would say they couldn't see around big vehicles, so the city put up signs prohibiting trucks, SUVs and vans.

People who broke the rules started getting tickets: 320 tickets in all over 40 business days. 

Jeannie Mayfield got one.

"I just don't think a Ford Escape is anything that's going to block the way," Mayfield says.

Michelle Horve had a similar problem.  

"I didn't consider my car an SUV," Horve says.

Many drivers finding these rules hard to decode.

"I felt it was very ambiguous and they needed to define it more clearly," Horve says.

Mccrady says it was hard to define what vehicles could park there without wordy and unattractive signage.

"There's a zillion different types of vehicles that are produced nowadays," McCrady says.  "How do we determine what's an suv, what's a car, now they have crossovers, hybrids."

So now the signs are gone.

"I do believe it's a safe parking configuration without restrictions," McCrady says.

No restrictions anymore, upsetting to those who paid for it.

"Literally several hundred people are probably upset they had to pay a fine and now you don't," Mayfield says.

But with the signs gone, the City Manager hopes there's less confusion down the road.

If you feel unsafe backing out of the diagonal spots, there are still the municipal lots and parallel parking all of them free.

Also, there haven't been any accidents backing out of those angled spots.  However, they may not be permanent.  Those spaces are still the testing phase.  At the end of the year, when the road is repaved the city will determine if they stick around.

The people who received tickets in those spots during that time will still have to pay.

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