In response to an inquiry from Clarksville Today, Clarksville Parking Manager Michael Palmore says the city will not disable the new ParkMobile app (which is now used to pay for downtown parking) during city regulated ‘free parking’ hours on evenings, nights, and weekends. Palmore stated he doesn’t want visitors to “get comfortable with free parking” and if they pay during “free parking time” without knowing the rules, the city will simply pocket the money.
Palmore added that “anyone who has paid [on nights/weekends] is probably a visitor”. There are no clear signs posted about free parking on nights/weekends when using the new app, and it sends reminders during free periods that payment is required.
Below are two of the questions we presented to the city in response to new parking regulations that were enacted before hearing public comments on the issues:
Q: Will the ParkMobile app stop accepting payments during free-parking hours, if so, when?
No, this app is designed for the convenience of customers/citizens to park without the constant worry of feeding a meter. It is not specifically for the citizens, but for all people that come downtown. With that being said, I do not want visitors to come downtown and get comfortable with free parking on the weekends. Free parking on the weekends and after 5 pm is a luxury for citizens and business owners of Clarksville, only in my eyes. As we get closer and closer to the F&M Arena opening up, we need to be mindful that Clarksville will no longer be Clarkvillans downtown only, and advertising free parking for 6000 people during the weekend will be a problem that we do not want.-Michael Palmore, City of Clarksville Parking Manager
Q: Will the city refund the payments that were made during ‘free parking’ hours since the app launched? If not, what will the city do with the money?
Refunds have not been considered at this time because the assumption here is that Clarksville is aware of the free parking rules and anyone who has paid is probably a visitor, which is more than likely used to paying for parking even on the weekends.-Michael Palmore, City of Clarksville Parking Manager
The city of Clarksville’s legal department promised to respond to these statements and inquiries by last Thursday, per Lance Baker. However, as of Monday morning, they still have not provided any such response.
There is a meeting of the parking commission scheduled for Tuesday, February 15, at 3 p.m.