Some East Wheeling Residents May Get Parking Permits

Photo by Casey Junkins Wheeling Operations Supervisor Tim Birch speaks during the Thursday Traffic Commission meeting, as Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball looks on.

Some East Wheeling residents may no longer have to worry about seeing $10 parking tickets attached to their windshields, as long as they pay a $20 monthly permit fee and can show proof of residency.

On Thursday, members of the Wheeling Traffic Commission granted initial approval for the program, although city council will get the final say. Wheeling Operations Supervisor Tim Birch said the measure would apply to those who live in the zone from 12th-16th streets along Eoff and Jacob streets. The residents would be allowed to park at meters without inserting coins or getting tickets.

“Apparently, the city wants to encourage people to live downtown. This would seem to go along with that,” Commissioner Alan Duvall said.

However, Wheeling Deputy Police Chief Martin Kimball is not sure this is a sound strategy.

“I see problems. People are going to get confused,” Kimball said. “And for that matter, what’s the point of have a meter there?”

After some further discussion, members agreed to pass the measure to city council for consideration.

In another matter, members agreed to study how to address complaints about one-hour and 30-minute parking meters in the Centre Market area.

“I know someone who went to Later Alligator. They ended up with a $10 parking ticket after parking at a one-hour meter,” Kimball said.

This led commission Chairman Chris Hamm to discuss the idea of installing more two-hour meters in the area around the market houses. He said city leaders, including Development Specialist Kurt Zende, have gotten it “booming down there.”

Commissioners also agreed to remove a yellow line on the side of the road along Chapline Street in the area north of 11th Street.

“That will allow for some more so-called non-metered parking for the people up there,” Hamm added.

Kimball and Birch are also studying the possibility of removing parking meters on the small stretch of street between the Wheeling Suspension Bridge and Main Street. Kimball maintains there is not enough room to safely allow two-way traffic with vehicles parked alongside the new J. Jones Evening Wear shop.

The Wheeling Traffic Commission typically meets at 2 p.m. on the second Thursday of every month on the first floor of the City-County Building, 1500 Chapline St.