Christiansburg bans Courthouse parking on adjoining Main Street block

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Following a move in late June to raise parking fines in Christiansburg, the town is doubling the price again in one area of town.

It's a move designed to help save business.

While the move is only to benefit five parking spots and may not sound like much, the issue is crippling local business.

Tuesday night's decision by Town Council means the two spots in front of The Simmons Law Firm and the three spots in front of Angle Florist on East Main Street can only be used for people going into the businesses in the area.

The spots are now not for people going into the Montgomery County Courthouse.

Since the Courthouse was opened and the Public Safety Building was renovated, people were using the spots to go into either location.

People would traditionally walk down the block or across the street, leaving their cars parked for hours at a time.

That meant customers couldn't park there as the only other parking around was police parking, Sheriff's parking, or town office parking.

So the town is fixing the issue with a three step process.

Bradford Stipes is a member of Town Council and the Street Committee who presented the process Tuesday night.

He described the steps, "Marking the spaces clearly, posting signage that will double the fines in those areas, and we're also going to make it very clear where the public parking is available for the courthouse and for the public safety building."

Stipes said there's ample courthouse parking on two sides of the building. So parking in any of the spots on East Main Street will result in a $50 ticket.

On top of that, the Chief of Police and Town Engineer will be walking the area to develop new sign options to point courthouse users in the right direction.

That's on top of much more checking by ticketing officers.

Police Chief Mark Sisson explained, "Our parking enforcement officer would have to observe vehicles park in these five designated areas and then walk to the courthouse. If they do that they would be in direct violation of the ordinance that was passed."

The spots were all already marked as one hour parking.

People who go into either law firm or the florist and spend more than an hour doing business won't be subject to a fifty dollar $50 fine, but could still face the new $25 ticket.