CORVALLIS, Ore. – As new streateries pop up in Corvallis, some residents are saying there could be an unexpected consequence.
Many businesses told KEZI 9 News the extra space has been vital to maintaining distance and serving more customers during the pandemic.
"We've had the streatery for about a month now. It's been awesome. People love it," said Mark O'Brien, manager of American Dream Pizza downtown.
But some residents say it’s costing them money.
Free parking lots are provided by the city and street parking is available along 2nd Street. However, people who live in the area said they have been struggling with parking.
Sebastian Mauer said he’s seen a big spike in the amount of tickets he’s gotten since the city started allowing businesses to spread out to the streets.
He told KEZI 9 News he understands the risk of parking on the street for longer than the allotted time, but where he would usually get $20 worth of parking tickets a month, that number has skyrocketed to $70 in the past week alone.
He says he feels targeted.
"I feel it's a little unfair, sometimes targeted when the owner of our building is letting us know that parking enforcement is actively trying to get a list of residents downtown so they can give us our tickets," said Mauer.
He says he has called the city, tweeted at the city, and gotten no answers.
O'Brien said the reduced parking is a small price to pay for what businesses gain during this time.
"Because of the pandemic, people aren't driving as much downtown," he said. "There's plenty of parking downtown all the time. So this is a small sacrifice."
Corvallis police said the city suspended all parking enforcement downtown between March 15 and July 15, which would account for the uptick in parking violations recently. They also said downtown parking has always been for customers, not employees, business owners or residents of the downtown area.