The city has limited parking to four hours around McKay Park after receiving complaints about overnight campers.

The change will limit parking along SW Shevlin Hixon Drive, SW Crowell Way, SW Bradbury Drive and Allen Road. For $30, parking permits will be available for residents to allow parking for longer than four hours.

Limiting parking near the park was allowed through a code change approved Wednesday night by the City Council. The change allows the city manager to establish temporary parking restriction areas that address immediate parking issues of concern.

The code change also allows similar restrictions in other parts of the city at the discretion of the city manager in areas where parking violations have been identified — specifically, within 500 feet of the Deschutes River, between Reed Market Road and Mt. Washington Drive.

It’s a quick fix as the city continues to search for longer-term solutions for parking problems in neighborhoods throughout the city.

One way the city is beginning to attack long-term problems is by adding a new staffer dedicated to responding to neighborhood parking problems into this year’s budget. The goal is to create a new parking division within the city that would have a formal and organized response to complaints similar to those they received at McKay Park, said City Manager Eric King.

“We have vibrant commercial areas where parking spills into those surrounding neighborhoods,” King said, largely referring to Galveston Street. “People then can’t park in front of their home. So how can we look at that problem dynamically?”

The division would provide a framework citywide so there is a way for neighbors to take action if they want to create rules in their neighborhood.

“Instead of us going to them, we are having (the neighborhoods) come to us,” King said.

Some of those solutions could look at time limits or a residential permit system, like at McKay Park. For other neighborhoods, the parking division employee could help negotiate with surrounding businesses which have lots that are not used on certain days or times to help alleviate congestion.

Paid parking could also be a solution for some areas if the solution required enforcement.

“Parking has to be self sustaining. If it’s going to require enforcement, what’s the mechanism to pay for it?” King said. “Our intent is not to impose paid parking on anyone. Our intent is to manage parking to park in the right place and in the right time.”

The position will be advertised the next two weeks.

— Reporter: 541-633-2160, bvisser@bendbulletin.com

23488310