Area drivers ‘fed up’ with downtown parking

Posted at 6:45 PM, Jun 02, 2013
and last updated 2013-06-02 18:57:16-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -- Tens of thousands of people flocked to downtown Richmond for the Broad Appetit food festival, and most of them had to search for a place to park.

"I can't believe it. I'm here fighting for a place on the street," said Jim Wood, who lives in the Fan District.

In a city known for its variety of events, some residents feel an improved parking plan for downtown would actually attract larger crowds -- and not only for large festivals.

On Sunday, temporary towing enforcement signs were placed on various streets up and down Broad Street. But those same streets were still packed with cars.

Towing and ticketing of vehicles were an issue for some at last year's Broad Appetit.  In fact, Richmond police said they towed 17 vehicles and ticket 19 others near the event last year.

"I'm just used to it.  If I have to go to an event downtown, I have to add extra time," said Allison Layne from Mechanicsville.

City leaders consistently work on parking solutions in Richmond. In fact, recent measures have passed through city council that fines drivers for parking too far away from the curb and alters the time period on restricted zones in certain parts of town.

It seems every driver in downtown has their own solution to fixing the parking problem; whether it be opening private parking lots to the public for big events or tearing down blighted buildings to construct parking decks.

Still, solving the parking situation downtown would mean economic boon, some Richmonders say.

"I'm not exactly sure what the solution is, but I think people who aren't [living] in the city may come into the city [more often]," said Jamelle Foster about parking in downtown.

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