Be sure that your parking meter is not blinking with the red sign that reads “expired.” Some parking meters surrounding the Shepherd community have changed, effective immediately.
All parking meters on North Church Street and North King Street converted to two hour increments. On North Princess Street, only meters 180 – 182 converted to two hours. East and West High Street, including the 300 block of East High Street, converted to four hour increments.
Local business owner and town resident David Rosen believes the parking meters were changed because the previous time allowed was excessive. The meters did not allow for proper rotation of the parking in those areas.
Shepherd University struggles to provide ample parking for students. The university strives to find the funds necessary to add a parking garage. Many commuters traveling into Shepherdstown also find parking to be an issue.
Students cannot always find a place to park. Town residents are finding it harder to park during school sessions at the university. Shoppers and other visitors circle the block many times before finding a parking spot.
The need for an immediate solution to the lack of parking spaces in the Shepherdstown community continues.
Rosen said, “Parking is an issue for everyone in the community, from businesses and residents to students and the university. I do not believe there is an easy answer to this problem. If there was an easy answer, I know the university and Shepherdstown would have taken action.”
In October 2011, Shepherd University President Suzanne Shipley sent a letter to Governor Earl Ray Tomblin. She requested a $500,000 increase in the school’s operational requisitions to put towards the construction of a campus parking garage. The parking has been a problem concerning Shepherd University for which they are determined to find a solution.
Brittney Butler, a junior sociology student and local business employee, finds parking to be a huge problem.
Butler said, “Sometimes when I am in class, I have to leave in order to put money in my meter so I don’t get a ticket. When I am at work, every two hours myself and co-workers have to stop what we are doing and put money in our meters. It’s just such an inconvenience.”
This garage would primarily help students during the school year but would also aid with visitors traveling to enjoy the town. The possible location for the garage is near Sara Cree Hall and Rams Stadium. The garage would also serve as a vital tool during the month of July when the Contemporary American Theater Festival happens throughout Shepherdstown.
The garage would not only benefit the Shepherd community but also benefit Shepherdstown residents, business owners and those who are employed in town. The new garage would provide parking for approximately 500 cars. There is the possibly that a number of spots could be allotted for dedicated use by downtown merchants and their patrons.
Rosen said, “I believe everyone should call their state representatives to inform them of the parking issue in Shepherdstown and that a parking garage would help. But I think the collective group needs to look at alternatives and other options to make everyone’s lives easier when it comes to parking.”