Christiansburg more than doubling parking fines starting Saturday

CHRISTIANSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Parking fines in Christiansburg are more than doubling to try to solve an increasing problem with open spaces downtown.

People leaving their cars in spaces longer than allowed will now pay $25, compared to the previous $10.

But that's not the only change, as cars continuing to be left in spaces like these will get more and more fines.

The newly changed law in Christiansburg allows the Traffic Ordinance Officer and Police Department to write more $25 tickets on cars that aren't moved after already being ticketed.

If a person received three parking tickets in a seven day period, there is an additional $100 fine.

The Council also voted unanimously that if a person does not pay the fine within 30 days, the late fee with also be $25, instead of the previous $10.

Mayor Michael Barber said this is a necessity in the Downtown.

"First and foremost, we don't have that much parking downtown now, and we find that a lot of it is being taken up by the courthouse, people visiting the courthouse, rather than leaving it open for our retail customers," he explained.

On that note, the issue of parking may not be done.

One store owner is asking Town Council to not only mark how long cars can be parked in spots, but what business people are doing who park there.

Don Simpkins, who owns Angle Florist next to the Montgomery County Courthouse, said the limited parking is used during the day for courthouse purposes, and he loses business on a regular basis.

He explained, "I suggest you consider a sign that simply says there are five spots on our end of town, retail business parking only. And then below it put courthouse parking available behind courthouse."

Council took that concern seriously and already assigned it to the Street Committee to study and bring before Town Council on July 25.

As for the new parking fines, the Christiansburg Police Chief said those go into effect Saturday, July 1.

Mayor Barber said the Traffic Ordinance Officer will be instructed to patrol downtown more closely for the first few weeks, at least, after the change goes into effect.