Increased Parking Enforcement Begins Friday, July 1

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Increased Parking Enforcement Begins Friday, July 1

Posted: 06/21/2016
City of Knoxville and Public Building Authority officials remind visitors to downtown and to the Cumberland Avenue Corridor that a number of changes related to garage and on-street parking will take effect on Friday, July 1.

As part of a comprehensive approach to managing public parking in downtown and in Fort Sanders, the City is installing more than 1,000 new parking meters, adjusting rates for on-street and garage parking, and increasing parking enforcement.

The goal is to create more turnover of parking spaces in high-demand areas. The ideal occupancy rate for parked cars in short-term metered spaces is 85 percent in a prime city block – meaning that a motorist should be able to find a parking space within a block or so of his or her destination.

In the Cumberland Avenue Corridor, PBA officers also will be enforcing 30-minute limits in designated commercial loading zones as well as discouraging drivers of commercial vehicles from parking illegally on sidewalks or in other non-designated areas.

Starting July 1, PBA will be assigning six officers to enforce parking regulations throughout downtown. In addition, four PBA officers will be handling parking enforcement in the Cumberland Avenue area. (Affected streets in the Cumberland Avenue Corridor include Cumberland, White and Lake avenues; Melrose Place; and Mountcastle, 18th, 19th, 20th, 21st and 22nd streets.)

In March, City Council approved the purchase of 1,022 new solar-powered parking meters. The new meters will accept credit cards or change, and will include sensors that will enable City engineers to track actual usage of street parking spaces.

As the meters are installed, uniform sets of short- and long-term rates will go into effect that encourage short-term use of high-demand street parking and long-term parking by commuters and residents in the City’s parking garages or in metered spaces on the edges of downtown.

Public garage parking will remain free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays.

“There’s plenty of parking downtown, and about 90 percent of it – more than 7,500 spaces – is in garages and City-owned lots,” Downtown Coordinator Rick Emmett said. “That’s clearly the best option for long-term parking.

“Short-term parkers – those visiting offices, shops and restaurants – might prefer the convenience of on-street parking, but most spaces are limited to two hours. The short-term meters will charge $1.50 an hour, versus $1 an hour to park in a garage.

“The new parking management plan will ensure regular turnover, and it’s also a more equitable way of sharing a public resource.”

Among the planned changes taking effect:

• New meters will be installed throughout downtown, including the length of Gay Street from Summit Hill Drive to Hill Avenue that does not currently have meters.
• The meters will be in effect Monday through Saturday throughout downtown, from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Gay Street and around Market Square, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. everywhere else.
• Long-term meters (on the north end of the Gay Street Viaduct and along Depot Avenue and South Central Street) will charge 30 cents an hour, with a 10-hour limit.
• City-owned garages will continue to be free on weekends and after 6 p.m. on weekdays, and will continue to charge $1 an hour for parking during weekdays. Monthly parking rates at City-owned garages will rise by $5 a month.
• The monthly parking rate for weekday commuters at the Civic Coliseum parking garage will decrease to $15 a month, from its current level of $20 a month. (New trolley routes provide free service from the Coliseum garage every 7 to 8 minutes on weekdays. The garage is also only a 5-minute walk from Gay Street.)
• In addition to its downtown enforcement, PBA will enforce meters in the Cumberland Avenue District, between White Avenue and Lake Avenue from 17th Street west to the railroad tracks from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday (but not on home football game days).

Violators parking in commercial loading zones or no-parking zones will be subject to immediate towing, as will motorists with multiple outstanding tickets for meter violations.

Any funds generated from parking activities will be used to support parking infrastructure and downtown amenities.

For more information about public parking in Knoxville, visit

Cumberland Parking LandscapeDowntown Parking Landscape
Cumberland Parking Landscape Map [PDF]   |   Downtown Parking Landscape Map [PDF]