City of Eureka Springs, Ark. looking to establish parking district

The City of Eureka Springs is looking to establish a parking district that is focused at providing guaranteed spots for residents near downtown.
Published: Dec. 14, 2022 at 5:00 PM CST
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EUREKA SPRINGS, Ark. (KY3) - The Eureka Springs City Council took the first step in establishing a new residential parking district along a part of Spring Street.

Many would say the lack of parking in the tourist city’s downtown has been an issue for several decades. The latest ordinance from the city looks to establish designated residential parking with hopes it will alleviate the situation as a whole.

“So we’re trying to create this parking district, a certain area,” said council member Harry Meyer. “So far, the idea is to give the residence a sticker for their window and hang tag for their guests.”

A couple from Tulsa visiting Eureka Springs understands the parking frustration.

“Everywhere we were like, ‘There’s a spot, no it’s not a spot,’” said Kirsty Ray. “We didn’t even know if it was going to be an issue until we got here. Then we’re scrambling, driving around in circles. Is this one-way? We don’t know what we’re doing.”

The city says the parking district will not mean any significant construction on Spring Street, still standing by the city’s trolley system as the best overall solution.

“We need to put signs and signage and so forth so that can be used,” said Meyer, who told KY3 there needs to be a better advertisement of the trolley system and alternate parking in close proximity to downtown.

Guests we spoke with say they were unaware the trolley system was an option until they had already arrived and parked downtown.

“We knew about it when we saw it drive by, but no, we didn’t know anything about it,” said Ray.

“Guaranteed parking for residence,” questioned Ray’s husband, Justin. “I don’t think that’s going to increase your tourism unless the residence is taking up all the potential tourist parking spaces.”

The city council conveyed a sense of experimentation with the new parking district, hopeful if it is beneficial, it can be implemented in other areas near downtown.

“We’re going to have to wait and see how this one goes,” said Meyer. “Then see if other residents on other streets come to us with their parking problems and see if they say, ‘Hey, do you have a way to fix ours.”

The parking district was approved upon its first reading before the city council, but it will still need to acquire two more successful votes before being implemented.

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