Russellville residents say downtown parking is insufficient

Parking in downtown Russellville is a pain according to residents and business owners. And police have their hands full trying to make sure people park correctly in the area.

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) — Drivers and business owners in Russellville feel the parking spots downtown aren't wide enough, long enough or plentiful enough. And they want something done about them.

“Downtown is a wonderful place to visit if you can find a place to park,” Barbara Ward, owner of Russellville Beauty college, said.

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Ward said it's a struggle when it comes to parking in downtown Russellville.

“It's affected our business and I know it's affected others because customers have no place to park so they go elsewhere,” she said.

Business owners in the area said even if you're lucky enough to get a spot, most cars can't fit.

“They'll be pulled up onto the sidewalk, and if they don't they'll be sticking out into the road.,” Ward said. "And you'll have to go around them."

They also said they see their fair share of people who don't know how to park.

“There's people that park all over the place, on the line, backwards and 12 inches away from the curb,” artist at Kaleidoclasm, Daniel Freeman said.

This is such a problem, Russellville police have added signs along the sidewalks on Main Street.

Captain Euwing with the Russellville police department said they've issued warnings and made PSAs. But they're still battling the problem.

“Since July of 2017, we noticed an increase in the amount of accidents in the downtown corridor where the vehicles sticking out into the traffic lane were a contributing factor,” he said. "This is becoming time-consuming and a hazard. Because we are getting a lot more calls from the public. Because it's a hazard

Russellville Mayor Randy Horton said the city is aware of the problem

“We started looking into the sidewalks in front of the building, they’re ten feet wide and we could cut them back, it would add additional space and most of the problem goes away,” he said.

He said they've looked into adding a parking deck and ground parking lots.

“We have three or four plans in play right, there's not a single one answer that'll work,” Mayor Horton said. "But one thing we are against is not having traffic in downtown,"

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Russellville police have added some line markers to the parking spots in downtown until the city is able to lengthen them.