City of Asheville issues warnings ahead of parking meter enforcement, makes pre-paid passes available

Beginning Nov. 19, the City of Asheville will begin enforcing a change in parking meter policy that says customers displaying handicapped parking placards or license tags will be required to pay parking meters.

Leading up to that change, the city’s Parking Services began issuing warning tickets on Friday and distributing educational leaflets to cars displaying handicapped placards that were parked in front of expired meters. The city will continue issuing those warning citations through Thursday, Nov. 18. Additionally, the city is distributing information about new, pre-paid parking placards for metered spaces.

City of Asheville Transportation Director Ken Putnam said that, over the two days of Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13, Traffic Services issued a total of 34 warning citations. The warnings, Putnam said, are intended to allow people who have been using the spaces time to transition to the new enforcement rules. In October, based on City Council instruction, the City of Asheville began examining its policy of allowing vehicles with handicapped parking placards or license plates to park at metered spots without paying the parking fee.

“We are hoping this transition will inform people about the upcoming enforcement and allow them to adjust to the change,” Putnam said.

Cars that received warning citations also received information about prepaid parking permits now available through the city’s Parking Services Division. Those passes are available to parking customers displaying handicapped parking placards or license tags, and may be purchased at the Parking Services Office at 45 Wall Street.

Each coupon costs $5 and allows for 5 hours of parking in metered spaces. The coupons, Putnam said, are intended to provide a way for people with disabilities to pay for their parking spots ahead of time without having to make repeat returns to their vehicle. Two parking passes, Putnam said, will cover the entire 10-hour span from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. in which parking meters are checked and enforced.

“We want to provide a way for people with disabilities to not have to go back to feed the meter over and over again,” Putnam said.

Parking passes are numbered and can only be used once, and are available only to drivers with handicapped parking placards or license plates. Handicapped parking spaces within the city will continue to be unmetered.

Visit the City of Asheville’s Parking Services Division, or call (828) 259-5792.