BRISTOL, Tenn. (WJHL) – Downtown Bristol, Tennessee is adopting new parking measures to help with limited spaces.
Many areas have only two hour parking limits and signs have been set up to let people know they may be “chalked.”
The new signs say “by parking in timed spaces, you consent to your tires being chalked for parking enforcement.”
This, after a U.S. Court of Appeals judge decided that governments chalking tires is a search under the Fourth Amendment, but days later, the judge clarified it “does not mean” it’s a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
“If you follow direction, then it shouldn’t be a problem,” said Terri Witcher.
“I just don’t think it’s cool to put a time limit on people’s shopping and fun that we have here in downtown Bristol,” said Jean Large.
“I know parking can get a little crazy down here, especially during event and concerts and stuff,” said Daniel Lockhart, “so I think it’s fine they are doing stuff to enforce it.”
City Attorney Danielle Smith told us Wednesday this ensures an easy and cheap method for parking enforcement.
“If it’s still chalked and parked two hours later, then they get an overtime parking ticket,” said Nathan Greene with the Bristol, Tennessee Police Department. “If you have people in it all day, other people that come down there to shop won’t have places to park.”
The new changes will be enforced Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
After 3 p.m., Greene said law enforcement will not chalk your tires.
In addition, a number of parking lots have now shifted from three hour parking limits to two hour parking limits.
“They’ll be a lot of chalked tires probably,” said Large.
Still, others said they would like to see downtown create more parking.
“I do strongly urge the city to get some parking because it is hurting the businesses downtown and people when they can’t find a parking place, they just go elsewhere,” said Brenda Borsch.
If anybody wants to legally challenge their parking ticket because their tires were chalked, Smith said they would argue that the use of chalk is in accordance with the Fourth Amendment.