Business owners in White Salmon should keep an eye on their mailboxes and expect a letter from the city soon.
The forthcoming letter, from the White Salmon City Council, addresses an ongoing problem in the business district: a shortage of parking spaces and the need for business owners to refrain from parking on streets where businesses are located.
Timi Keene, a member of the White Salmon City Council, drafted the letter to encourage business owners and their employees to park off the primary streets, thereby leaving more parking open for customers.
"The letter will be sent to businesses on Estes, Jewett, and Main, and is intended to remind employees that there is parking available on Second and Third," Keene said.
Mayor Roger Holen said the reminder was an important one.
"Obviously, it's in the business owners' best interest to do that, to increase business," Holen said.
The city has also been looking at the parking signs downtown as another way to raise awareness. Signs that advise motorists how long they can park in specific areas are likely to be moved to more visible locations.
A police enforcement campaign on the parking limits is also planned.
"It has come to the city's attention that significant parking problems exist for both business and customer alike along Jewett, Estes, and Main streets. We would like to remind everyone that, as posted and subject to enforcement, these are primarily two-hour parking zones with additional zones for truck loading, and, in a few instances, 10- or 15-minute parking," read an excerpt of the letter, which had not yet gone out as of Jan. 24. "Aware that parking related signage might require updating, the City Council has requested the Police Department to review the current signage and make recommendations pertaining to placement, size, and adequate time frame notification. This will be accomplished during the next month. For those businesses without dedicated parking areas, unrestricted parking is available along Second and Third avenues, as well as in the city-owned lot west of City Hall. We encourage you and your employees to use these areas for parking exceeding the maximum time limits."
Pam Morneault, who runs the Collage of the Gorge in downtown White Salmon, said she supported the campaign.
"I think it's great. Parking is for customers," Morneault said. "At times, the parking places on the street are all full, but no one is in the shops. I've joked for years that we must be a park and ride for Portland."