RICHMOND, Va - Free parking at the two decks in Carytown will soon be a thing of the past. Starting August 12th, drivers will have to pay to park in the decks on Colonial Ave. and Crenshaw Ave., both of which are just north of the business district.
Recently, S&P+, the company contracted to manage the decks, posted a white paper sign alerting drivers to the change and installed payment stations on the bottom and top floors. A photo of the signs posted on social media drew rebuke from visitors and some business owners in Carytown.
Some worried charging for parking at the decks, which have been free for years, will make an already tricky parking situation in Carytown that much worse.
What the sign did not mention is the rates, so CBS 6 asked the city what they would charge. A city spokesperson said the breakdown is as follows:
- Monthly permit for daytime parking [7am - 6pm] $20.00/month
- Monthly permit for evening parking [6pm - 7 pm] $20.00/month;
- Monthly permit for 24-hour use $35.00/month
- Daily rate for daytime parking [any portion of time from 7am - 6pm] $1
- Daily rate for evening parking [any portion of time from 6pm - 7am] $1
The Carytown Merchants Association gives this example for how the new daily rates will work:
- You get to the deck at 10am and shop, get some food, and leave at 4pm; you only pay $1
- You park at the deck at 5pm, shop and grab dinner, and leave at 9pm; you pay $2
"While the free parking was nice, we are excited that such a low cost is being charged daily to find that balance of upkeep for the decks without discouraging people from spending the day in our amazing local community. Free three hour street parking is still being offered as well," the Carytown Merchants Association wrote in an email to CBS 6.
A city spokesperson said increased maintenance and security costs lead to the changes. The city hopes more people who work in Carytown will use the decks instead of parking on the street. The move is also intended to help with available parking spots for short term parkers, the spokesperson said.
Jeffrey Kitchen was on his way to lunch in Carytown when he spotted the sign for the first time. While he said his "gut reaction" was disappointment, Kitchen hopes paid parking will mean more available spots in the usually crowded decks.
"So it`s not that big of a deal, and it`s good that they are limiting that way you don`t have the people who are parking in here for 8-10 hours. So it gives everyone an opportunity to get a spot," Kitchen said. "And if you want to be here all day, pay for it to be here all day."
SP+ wrote on their posted message the changes take place August 12th, one day after the Carytown Watermelon Festival.