City lifts downtown parking restrictions for eclipse

John Day Police Chief Richard Gray removes traffic cones following the decision by the John Day City Council to lift parking restrictions in downtown John Day on Friday, Aug. 18.

After hearing testimony from downtown business owners, the John Day City Council voted to lift parking restrictions in the downtown area of John Day on Friday, Aug. 18.

Owners and employees from the Grubsteak, Java Jungle, Outpost and other businesses said sales had been hurt by the lack of parking on either side of Main Street on Thursday.

The parking restrictions were put in place by the city to allow emergency vehicles to have a way through, allow visitors to see storefronts from the road and to try to prevent traffic jams similar to the ones seen in Prineville on Thursday.

Greg Armstrong, owner of Len’s Drug, Subway and the Corner Cup said the parking restrictions were sending a message to visitors that said they were not welcome.

“We haven’t even seen the tip of the iceberg yet,” John Day City Manager Nick Green said in regards to the number of people coming to John Day.

Green said if visitors chose to park RVs or trailers in the roughly twenty spots that were closed, the city would not have the resources to remove or ticket them.

The Oregon Pine property will have space for approximately 1,000 vehicles, Green said.

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