“Parking Ambassadors” to guide Clayton visitors, enforce parking rules

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CLAYTON, MO (KTVI) - Beginning Wednesday, new fleet of Jeeps will replace the smaller, “golf cart” parking enforcement vehicles in Clayton.

The move is part of an effort to improve parking for visitors to Clayton’s bustling downtown.

The individuals operating the vehicles will serve as parking ambassadors, Clayton’s Director of Economic Development Gary Carter said.

“They’re exactly the same people,” Carter said. “We’ve re-branded them “Parking Ambassadors” to try to promote a little more community involvement or community leadership.”

The parking ambassadors will have the power to enforce parking and issue tickets. But they will also serve as liaisons to guide visitors to the nearest available parking spots.

The city recently launched a plan to get drivers to make use of thousands of unused spaces. Most of those spaces can be found in the city’s parking garages.

Anywhere between 35,000 and 46,000 visitors come to Clayton daily, Carter said. Drivers often remark about the challenges with finding a spot when they visit the courts, retailers, or other venues.

Street parking rates increased in late 2016, as a move to encourage visitors to make use of the other available spots in nearby garages. Parking per hour went from $1 an hour to $1.50 an hour.

Parking fines increased January 3, 2017.

One of the biggest ways Clayton is making it easier to park is through a new app. The mobile app “Passport Parking” allows drivers to find a parking spot, pay for parking, and even add time.

The app launched January 3, as well.

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