New Fan parking restrictions take effect Friday

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)— Starting Friday it is going to get a little harder to park in an area of the Fan that seems to always have an ongoing battle with parking.

For instance, Fan resident Carrie Grafton is constantly facing a parking predicament.

“Because I live here and I work here, I’m in the mix of it all,” said Grafton.

At home and at work Grafton is being put in a tight spot almost daily. “It’s virtually impossible to park within four or five blocks of where I live,” she said.

It’s not much easier to find parking where she works at Pie restaurant, on Lombardy Street in the Fan.

The surrounding streets have a one-hour time limit, and are in a different zone than her house. It means when she’s on the clock so are the parking police.

“I owe a little over 500 dollars of parking tickets that I have been trying to pay off slowly,” said Grafton.

zone1and2

The area around Grafton’s job is going to get even tougher to park in for non-residents.

Several streets inside Zone 1 in the Fan are extending their restrictions on one-hour parking. The new times will be from 7 a.m. until midnight, and will be in place on weekends.

The current restrictions are listed as one-hour parking, from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and don’t apply over the weekend. Soon the only time those visiting or living in the Fan without a parking decal won’t have to worry about parking restrictions is after midnight.

“Too many cars and not enough parking spaces,” said Fan neighbor Richard Harris about the situation.

Harris lives on West Avenue. His neighbors petitioned the city to try out the new hours because of the full streets they face night and day.

“It’s even worse if there’s a special event at the church or even worse if there’s a basketball game,” said Harris.

While Harris and his neighbors say they’re relieved to be getting a wake up from a parking nightmare, he also realizes the effect it could have on business at nearby restaurants. He worries that few patrons will want to move their cars once an hour or park several blocks away from where they’re eating .

“If we’re not close to them, close to where they live, than they’re not going to come out ,” said Grafton.

Harris hopes to find a solution for that. “We’re going to have to figure that out because we don’t want them to go away,” said Harris.

The Fan District Association, online, notes that “We are communicating this proposed change to the residents, businesses and other interested parties in the immediate area affected by this change.”

“If successful in reducing non-permitted vehicles parking in this area, we will consider expanding this type of restriction.”

Which means that the expanding parking restrictions could soon extend to more parts of the Fan.

Starting in April, the city plans to start a boot blitz, and boot any ticket with three or more outstanding tickets. Read more on that here: Parking violators warned to pay up or get the boot.