Mixed message from police and city on No Parking signs

Posted at 7:43 PM, Aug 14, 2012
and last updated 2012-08-14 19:43:43-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--People parked along W. Broad between Pine Street and the Boulevard woke up to find flyers attached to their windshields, saying that soon people can't park in the area between 2 and 6 a.m., a change from the existing times.

Right now, signs state that there is no parking from 11:00 p.m. to 4 a.m., something that frustrates residents and business owners in the area.

Tom Griffin, with the West Grace Street Association, will tell you how frustrated he is with the City of Richmond. "We were asked to be involved in a community input.”

In the end, Griffin felt like they were ignored.

"It's impacting us because now I can't have any care here overnight or else, I'll get towed or get a ticket,” said Griffin.

"We want Broad Street to be vibrant because that just improves our community,” said Griffin.

The city said they originally put the signs up to keep people from cruising. 

"I think cell phones and different habits for kids and things put an end to that,” said Griffin.

Neighbors said police haven't enforced the law, until recently. And now they're replacing the current signs without the public's input.

"As community, we're going to push for more,” Rand Burgess, owner of the Camel restaurant, said. "Nowhere else in the Fan that they're restricting like that...that I know of...”.

Burgess was arrested last month, he said to prove a point.  He says he did it to keep the City from impacting his business. He warned his patrons when police began to ticket and tow, and asked police for just a few minutes to allow his patrons to move their vehicles.

Burgess, like many neighbors in the area, just wants the signs to come down and the drama to stop.

City Councilman Charles Samuels, who represents the area, told CBS 6 he may introduce an ordinance next month to remove these signs.  But he hopes to have some type of resolution with the public before that happens. 

A resolution, he said, that would involve businesses, police, residents, and city officials.