The parking crunch at Jackson County’s new library in Sylva has largely eased, thanks to a new sidewalk that allows employees and exercise-minded readers to park farther away and walk safely.
The library opened earlier this summer. It is housed in a large addition to the newly renovated historic courthouse that dominates Sylva from its strategic position on a hill above town. The new library has been the toast of the town, generally lauded except for a spate of complaints about a shortage of parking spaces within the cramped footprint where it was built.
Also helping the parking cause are library and county workers, who are now officially doing what many were opting to do previously out of courtesy alone — parking away from the library to free-up as many parking spaces for patrons as possible.
“No one has complained directly to me lately about how there is ‘no parking’ at the library,” head Librarian Dottie Brunette said late last week.
The library employees are stashing their cars at Bicentennial Park below the building, and hoofing it up Keener Street via a new sidewalk the town helped build. The county also has worked to improve the access from the nearby 10-acre Mark Watson Park, located on west Main Street, where library parking is available to those willing to walk up a set of stairs.
“I didn’t have any trouble finding a parking space,” said Laura Wright, a visitor from Virginia who drove to the library as a scenic destination at the behest of local tourism officials. “And, the courthouse is lovely.”